Monday, September 25, 2006

Walk the Great Wall of China - Check
Walk the Roman Forum - Check
Party in Tokyo - Check
See U2 play live in Ireland - Check
See The Pogues live in London - Check
Go to a Super Bowl - Check

There are certain things in all of our lives that we dream of doing and then, sometimes, are fortunate enough to do.

See and study Buddhism with the Dalai Lama - CHECK

From 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. today, along with 1500 other people at the Beacon Theater (two blocks from my apartment on 74th Street and Broadway)the Dalai Lama performed rituals, chants and blessings and taught us about the nature of two main tenets of Buddhism - tamping down ego and taking care of others.

I am still in a daze that I was there learning directly from his holiness.

The atmosphere was electric. There were about 25 monks on each side of the stage dressed in the traditional yellow robes and they were all seated on brightly colored red and yellow cushions.

A large tapestry rich in hues of blue, gold, red, and green, depicting The Buddha and the bodhisattvas hung behind the platform from which he spoke and altars with candles and Buddhist figures framed the platform.

He conducted the lessons and ceremonies in Tibetan with a translator speaking English.

Of course I learned once again how little I know. His words and the readings were informative, pragmatic and enlightening and my mind was opened to new ways of thinking about old problems.

What a great day.