The Dalai Lama's Visit
Last fall, I've had the great fortune to hear the Dalai Lama speak at my graduate institution. A very interesting and fortunate event occurred that day-- and somehow it all worked in my favor. The announcement of his visit occurred few month before the event, and I was one of the first few students to inquire about the details of the visit and to actively try to reserve a seat to hear him speak. I was beyond excited that our paths could meet in Europe....in Hungary...and in Central European University- out of all places. To get a seat to see his holiness, five to ten people were randomly selected from each department (including faculty members) through a lottery. Therefore, it was up to the "universe" to decide who were the worthy candidates to see this cute, smiling man speak about the acquired wisdom of his lifetime. The selected members were to be notified a day before the visit and when the day did come, I wasn't one to get the notification. Out of all the students in my department, I was one of the most enthusiastic to see him. It was I, in fact, who was interested in Buddhist philosophy and practice; it was I who had taken a class on Buddhism in college and who went on a ten-day meditation retreat that was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. So, it was especially heart-breaking to discover that I wasn't on that golden list.
But, was I in for a surprise. Knowing what I know of universal energy that brings one's intentions with the most desired outcome, I was certain that I was to see Dalai and started flirting with my fate. As we were all gathered in front of a conference room in order to get a glimpse of the colorfully-robed monk who was to speak there in a matter of an hour, I joked with a friend that I will go and suck up to the security guard for an opportunity to maybe get in- maybe someone cancelled? maybe I can impress him with my knowledge of Buddhist philosophy? maybe, I can pretend my name is on the guest list and looked shocked when it wasn't found? It would not hurt to try! So, off I went and tried to find a way to take control of what fate got wrong. And after checking me as a guest, the guard nodded that I was part of it, and I should go inside and grab a seat. I was confused and very happy! How? I didn't get an invitation. After I talk to a few friends and others who also on the list, I realize that the invitations were sent this morning, but I never checked my e-mail (not expecting it). And to think that I almost missed what was "meant to be" by not "seeking it out" is the biggest lesson of the Buddhist philosophy that I got from the Dalai Lama experience before I even saw him speak. The experience proves that desiring and hoping...and ultimately, attracting what you want in life, can only be complemented by action that manages to materialize the "meant to be" events.
Here are more personal pictures of the Dalai Lama's visit and some of my favorite quotes by his holiness.
MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
"I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe."
"Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day."
"There is a saying in Tibetan, 'Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.'
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster."
“Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents, and then later on in our life when we are oppressed by sickness and become old, we are again dependent on the kindness of others. Since at the beginning and end of our lives we are so dependent on others’ kindness, how can it be in the middle that we would neglect kindness towards others?”
“One who is caught in thought loses one’s original nature. All he knows are words and descriptions, when he sees the actual thing, he fails to perceive it.”