Friday, November 18, 2005

Compassion Knits Us Together

We never know where each day will lead. Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of seeing one of the most humble men on the planet, the Dalai Lama a 70-year-old Buddhist monk, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his steadfast nonviolent campaign to free Tibet of Chinese tyranny.

It all began when Judy called me Tuesday morning asking if I wanted to see him. Luckily, there were tickets enough for Judy, Josh and myself. We left for Newport at 10 am so we could get good seats at his presentation. We pulled into the parking lot on Easton beach , boarded a Viking bus to be shuttled to Salve Regina University and ate our bagged lunches. I met a lovely graduate student with whom I shared my almonds and strawberries all the while chatting about our exciting chance to see and hear the Dalai Lama. We made sure to leave all purses, cell phones and even our lunch drinks behind. We submitted to electronic checks before being allowed in the huge white tent to find our seats more than two hours before his arrival.

After our long wait we were thrilled to discover that he chose to enter the very tent door where we were seated. What a joy to catch a glimpse of this man who was no more than 30 feet from us. As he entered and touched some young students, I was deeply affected by his presence. He walked up through the crowd of 4,000 to the podium where he spoke about World Peace. The Providence Journal describes his speech here. I was touched by his simplicity. He was so very human in his mannerisms and his comments. He reminded us to be patient and compassionate. He told us he sensed our human warmth as he encountered our faces when he walked through the crowd. He received a Pell Award from Salve commemorating his 55 years in exile.

The sublime experience of the day ended with a walk along the cliff by the sea to our car on Easton Beach.


margene said...

What beautiful post and rememberence of your day. We do need to remember the simple things are the best and not to complicate our lives.

Judith said...

What a wonderful experience & day you had. Thanks for putting the link in that describes his speech. Great post!

gerald said...

Wow! That must have been a moving experience on so many levels.