Saturday, September 23, 2006
Dalai Days, #1
My karma was good. Doors opened. Seas parted. Seats were available. The Universe ushered me through 3 days of learning with precision and exactitude. My Dalai Days were important. Needful. Wonderful. Inwardly bountiful. My days of the Dalai Lama Experience are embedded in my cells, changing me and moving me swiftly in the direction of greater compassion and greater peace within.
It began on Monday with the inter-faith service. The 14th Dalai Lama was revealed as a great Unifier, in contrast to the great religious Dividers that are currently in circulation. Music was played, prayers from every faith were recited and a slender, golden thread was tied around each wrist in attendance to symbolize peace among all people. The Dalai Lama spoke briefly about peace and kindness, 3 minutes of silence were observed and the responsive reading ended with the audience reciting aloud:
"We offer the merits of our presence here today
to the health and well-being of everything;
our planet, its people and creatures.
May their ills be healed and their life upheld
throughout space and time."
Promptly following the service, I snuck into the exhibit room before the crowds converged. Inside the exhibit room was a masterpeice. A momentary breath of exquisite beauty. A Tibetan Monk-created sand mandala. The mandala, Sanskrit for circle, symbolizes the pure, perfected Universe. The mandala is a visual aid for establishing feelings of peace, well-being and wholeness during a ritual or ceremony. Millions of grains of sand are poured through metal funnels into an intricate 5 foot circle, filled with sacred geometry. 14 colors are used. Deities are invoked and continuous blessings are requested. It is a map for enlightenment with ancient, secret symbols hiding in plain sight. It is believed that a sand mandala has a positive effect on all who see it. (Lucky me.) Above all, the most important element of a sand mandala is the collaboration of the monks in its creation. Working together is the value of Tibetan ritual art, not the element of originality, as it is in the West.
This was a sublime introduction to the 14th Buddha of Compassion and his severely threatened culture. My first Dalai Day was a study in unification and collaboration, and the calm beauty those 2 practices invoke.