Tryst With The Smiling Buddha

Spent a spiritual Sunday Morning. Have always heard, read about and admired Dalai Lama and made tentative forays in trying to understand Buddhist philosophy and thinking. Find the philosophy attractive as it does not prescribe to a fixed god or messiah but deals more with understanding human existence and suffering. A few weeks back read an ad about Dalai Lama’s visit to Bangalore for talks – organised by Vidyaloke – Vana foundation. Grabbed the opportunity – wrote to them to obtain a pass and spent 2 hours listening to Dalai Lama speak. Was not disappointed.

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Hall was packed – my first glimpse of him was a bald patch and a hint of the maroon robe seen in between the heads of people surrounding him. He was then helped onto the stage – and went around waving to the crowd in all directions. A happy smiling face. His talks were peppered with jokes and his child like laughter. Spoke a lot of sense – though can’t claim that I understood everything that he said. Spoke initially in a bit of broken but cute sounding English. Then switched to Tibetian – followed by translation in English by his assistant. Wish he had continued in his pretty OK English – something always gets lost in translation. His talk was followed by a question answer session – quite interesting actually.

Overall an inspiring morning. In the present times when there is an acute dearth of role models in society, His Holiness Dalai Lama stands out as beacon of hope for a lot of us.

Take home messages

  • separate religious institutions from religion – don’t confuse the two
  • Smile a lot
  • 90 percent of our negative thoughts are just our minds projection
  • Biased compassion is different from unbiased compassion
  • You can be a nonbeliever and still be a Hindu or a religious person.

Have decided to read up more on Buddhist literature – in that spirit bought home a whole lot of books on the subject. Just have to read them.

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Stuck to a vegetarian lunch at home today.