His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Yesterday – since I am writing this post at 1:39 am in the morning, The Dalai Lama paid a visit to Cincinnati.  He was being honored by The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s…. with The International Freedom Conductor Award.

I had the distinct pleasure of being one of the producers on the event as well as be in attendance.  It is not every day you get to meet a spiritual leader and head of state but today was not everyday.

I figured I would share a few insights I gathered from “The Dalai.” I feel comfortable calling him “The Dalai” since one of the very first things he mentioned is “I am just a man and a monk.”   So, what the heck.  “The Dalai, Mr. Lama and The Big D.L.”  They all seem like reasonable nicknames for someone who bills them-self a mere man.

One of the big concepts Mr. Lama shared was about Trust.  He mentioned trust is something that is only developed by allowing ourselves to be compassionate and real with one another.  That means putting down our facades and letting what is on the inside rise up and meet the world.

Of course, compassion and freedom were common themes and The Dalai shared his own slant on freedom being a physical and mental state.

Mr. Lama also mentioned the “Power of Thoughts” being much greater than the “Power of Guns or Aggression.”

The Dalai Lama was a fun loving man, cracking many jokes and sharing his views on birth control.  The crowd erupted in laughter with his solution for overpopulation….”More Monks and Nuns.”  Not sure if he has considered any of the consequences of that as well :)

During the program Mr. Lama was interviewed by Gwen Ifill and he fielded written questions from the audience.  One of my favorite questions was a request for  his ideas for solutions for The United States of America during this divisive political crisis.

His response was unexpected.  He complimented the USA as being the greatest example of democracy the world has ever known. (USA doesn’t get many compliments anymore)  He encouraged Americans to continue to carry the torch of world leadership promoting democracy.

He also reminded us that all of the problems we are facing are man made and what is man made can be overcome by man.  In addition he advised us to remember our self confidence.  We have lost our self confidence in America.

This really hit home for me.  Self confidence is an issue we all can relate to in life.  Multiply a lack of self confidence to the national level and you have an entire country reacting out of fear.  I had never considered our countries’ challenges to have a root in self confidence issues but I think he is on to something.

I purposely did not take any notes today in an effort to be “Mindful and Present” during his speech and interview.  I am sure I have butchered a few of his concepts but I am also sure he would not mind.  In fact he would probably giggle about it.

In the end, my biggest take away from my day with “The Dalai” was… if he just sees himself as a man just like me…. then I can see myself as a man just like him.

How different my world and the world might be if I decided to be a man like “The Dalai.”  Choosing mindfulness, compassion and the spirit of freedom. over stress, suspicion and aggression.  Sharing my light with the world.

We all have something special inside us.  We just need to see it in ourselves and others.

I hope Expert in the Rough has been a way for you to get to know me and therefore “Trust” me.

EITR is an open forum, your thoughts and ideas are always welcome.

Peace be with you.

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