Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Dalai Lama at Rutgers Stadium...

It was an early morning arriving in New Brunswick, NJ as the sun was rising in the East briefly bathing the world in a deep peachy glow before turning gray for the remainder of the day. The clouds were a welcome covering over the open stadium - almost dome-like in holding the energy of the events of the past week culminating today with the public address given by the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Earlier, Tibetan mandala sand-paintings had filled the space with visual prayer, intention, and compassion. Now artificial turf again carpeted the floor while people trickled into the stadium in the early morning blur.

The morning began at 6:30am with movies of the Tibet, her culture, her people, her countryside, her Tibetan monks praying, chanting, working, creating mandalas, etc. filling the massive screen above the stage. Energy vibrated at a different frequency than any I've noted elsewhere - most likely residue from the prayerful mandalas of the previous days. The energy moved from the outside in...sinking into the skin like the warmth of the sun.

At 8:30am, a small group of monks appeared and began to chant, using deep tones vibrating in waves throughout the still mostly empty stadium. Chakra chanting... the energy now flowing from the inside out... the energy building with the chanting to a crescendo, then dropping off dramatically only to rise again flowing across the open field gracefully touching all who were open to receive.

Then the throat singing... amazing, deep-throated singing unlike anything Westerners produce with the vocal chords. Several musical instruments accompanied the singers although with or without the accompaniment, the toning was amazing. Vibrationally, the upper chakras seemed briefly attuned during this altogether too brief a demonstration of this extraordinary music/toning/singing.

The energy changed abruptly with the performance by one of Rutgers orchestras performing an American composer's piece. The music was so different energetically than everything previously experienced that we chose to rise and walk about the stadium a bit while taking note of different energetics at different locations. It was an exercise in full body awareness, to be sure!

At 10:30, Rutgers current president, whose name escapes me - McCormack or something like that - appeared with the Dalai Llama and the entire stadium arose applauding the arrival of the one for whom they waited. The pair disappeared briefly from view after mounting the stairs and a total hush filled the stadium with a reverence and an expectancy that immediately returned to applause as they reappeared before all now on stage. A brief ceremonial conferring of the honorary degree of the Doctor of Letters in Humanities to the 14th Dalai Lama by the president, and finally, the Dalai Llama himself. And it was as though there was a universal pause or catching of the breath as he began to speak...

He was seated center stage, the new doctoral robes hanging loosely over his shoulders, slipping every now and again. He was barely visible above the potted mums that edged the stage yet the large screen over and behind the stage provided all with a glimpse of this man of peace.

The topic assigned was: War, Peace, and Reconciliation. His message was neither new nor earth shattering. War brings death. Peace supports life. Reconciliation leads to peace thus brings new life. He pointed out that emotions tend to exaggerate ones perceptions of situations, particularly negative emotions. Therefore he suggested using the mind to educate oneself and to expand ones understanding of reality so as to step outside emotions and make wise choices in all things. He indicated that given the global perspective, war in the 21st century is now obsolete and potentially life threatening to all. Thus reconciliation is the only path open to work through differences to peaceful solutions.

The Dalai Lama had one perspective that our little group found interesting – mostly because none of us had seen things in quite this perspective. He noted how much BETTER the world is today than it was in the 1950-1970’s – the time of the Cold War when there was a constant escalation of nuclear arms and a constant state of fear. He noted how major nations have found ways to work together for the benefit of all, how nations help one another in times of natural disasters, etc. It was a good and gentle reminder to view things from a broad perspective rather than from the isolation of the current politics in power…

Interestingly enough, I had not planned to attend this function nor had I any real interest in doing so. Just a few nights ago my husband and I were discussing his appearance and we both indicated that we would not go to see the current pope, nor did we see the last pope, nor would we go see a president who was ‘passing through/ (aka campaigning) – it’s just not our thing. Huge public gatherings are places we generally avoid! Yet Friday morning I received an invitation, including a ride, and I chose to go. And again Saturday morning, I received a second invitation and ticket offer… Now how often does that happen? Next to never. A ticket alone would not have brought me to the stadium but a ride with friends and a ticket – followed by lunch on the way home – that got me out of my home and into Rutgers Stadium to see a very holy man and hear him speak. His voice alone was like a toning experience!

Best of all was his sense of humor and his very down-to-earth presence. Here is a high holy man seated comfortably on the floor telling jokes, cross-referencing with his translator when a word escaped him, scratching his head, adjusting his newly received PhD garments, coughing into the mike or into his hand – no false front, no artificiality, no pomposity, no judgment or criticism, no pride of any sort. A holy humble man giving witness to the application of peaceful living for all who could see. I will remember His Holiness… I will remember his bowing to us, the audience. I will remember his voice. I will remember in my deepest being the energy of this day realigning my energy more clearly toward peace…


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Barbara at the Jersey Shore said...

I know what a good experience you had. I went to see the Dali Lama in Washington Township almost ten years ago
and the memories are still vivid. I was impressed by the patient and well behaved crowd who waited hours to see and hear him. His message was of love and happiness.
I was offered a ticket at the last minute but couldn't go. I had been in NYC to see MADAMA BUTTERFLY and didn't get the phone message on time. Perhpas I will get another chance because I heard he is just starting his US tour.