“I’m just a simple Buddhist monk”, I heard him say, the past few days, on the television. But he’s so much more than that. He’s a winner of the Noble peace price and one of the most famous spiritual leaders in the world. He’s Tenzin Gyatso. He’s the Dalai Lama.
Can you imagine hearing him give a lecture and leading a meditation for 10.000 Dutch people? Since yesterday, I can. I was one of them. He spoke about compassion, a core element in the Buddhist teachings. His talk was serious and funny, mingled with anecdotes and an occasional exchange with his sidekick alias translator.
He turned down the request of chanting the mantra “Ohmani Phadmi Hum”, because if you don’t do that proper enough it will sound too much like “Mani, Mani, Mani” and that in turn sounds too much like “money, money, money”, a thing we have to avoid in times of economical crisis, he giggled.
So we did a meditation on compassion. Making a resolution to be more compassionate.
I think it’s liberating, feeling compassion to others but also to yourself. It’s so non-judgemental. And it opens up the gates to love. I frees you and gives you the opportunity to laugh at yourself and to acknowledge that you are just like everybody else, a human being with flawes, doing the best she can.
It was also a special day because I was invited by a old schoolfriend. It’s funny to see how the teenagers we were so many years ago are now grown-up and so much more mature. I feel compassion for the girls we were, with all our insecurities and struggles to find a place in this world. I came a long way, and feel grateful to pick up the thread of life with her again. Thank you for that, Tineke!