Saturday morning, I woke up to a gloomy sky in Boston and headed down to the Garden to see His Holiness. A protest group I won’t name chanted to a catchy beat as the line to get in shivered against the sea breeze. Once inside, my family and I sat up in the balcony and observed the Dalai Lama on a spacious wooden chair on a stage below. He spoke with the occasional help of a smiling Tibetan translator who resembled Nelson Mandela.
My dad said he could understand every third word and I got the hang of interpreting his accent after about five minutes. Around then, he spoke of irritating spotlights and donned a hat..a Boston Bruins cap that made the crowd roar. He removed the hat, read the embroidery, and admitted “Zero knowledge of hockey”. After a lengthy talk, His Holiness answered several audience and youth group questions. Because Mayor Marty Walsh had already left the talk (pretty rude, Mr. Mayor, regardless of your schedule), Richard Gere spoke the closing remarks. I’d just like to point out that Richard Gere attended UMass Amherst on a gymnastics scholarship.
The Dalai Lama’s message was of peace and compassion. Below I’ve typed out portions of the notes I took during his talk. Though a word or two may be off, I didn’t alter his turn of phrase.
- We are all one people with same right: to achieve happy life. What is happy life? [Discussion of how it’s not found in $, in education, and especially not in drugs.] The key to happy life is within ourself.
- Children’s questions: Do you ever get angry? (“Yes!”) Do you have a pet? (“Yes, nowadays, I have a cat. Someone found her quite weak, so I kept her. She was quite playful. Now she is…like me.”)
- Civil war is mutual destruction.
- I am Buddhist monk. Be modest. Do as much good as possible. No talk of this legacy.
- When I consider myself one with others, then easier to communicate.
- Sense of other’s well being and compassion…initiative, change starts with the individual, then family, then 10 families, society, happy world.
- If you believe what I said, then try it. If you don’t, then fuck it.
From his lips to this blog.
- 3AM: Wake up.
- Four hour meditation
- 7AM: Read, travel, talk to people, to audiences, practice compassion and mindfulness.
- 5PM: 1 hour meditation
- 6:30-7PM: Sleep.
“Nature create day and night. Nighttime is sleep. Daytime is study, work.” – Dalai Lama, 11/1/14, Boston.
I’m sure he eats somewhere in there but he didn’t mention when.