Thursday, March 4, 2010

Does the Dalai Lama cry?

As I look before me on my little bookshelf I see many wonderful books created to educate, inspire, uplift, and educate. I have the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, and books on I Ching wisdom and Buddhism. I have Dr. Wayne DyerEckhart TolleAndrew Cohen, and Doreen Virtue adorning my shelves as well. I have books on acceptance, living in the now, recovery, humility, religion, faith and self help. You will also see this roster punctuated with Stephen KingDan Brown, and Mitch Albom. I think there is also a Dr. Suess up there too.

The interested thing I find in the tomes I have read containing a more spiritual nature, they all, in their own dialect, point to certain values, practices, and observations of how to live a spiritually fulfilled life. Although varying in many ways, they also conjoin to teach us of awareness of ourselves and our actions, compassion to others, beliefs of a higher nature, accountability, and certain moral modes of conduct. It is this research that helped me understand and appreciate others and their right to what they believe, and if what you place your faith upon, or whom for that matter, works for you, then who am I to judge? Many of the ideals I learned, once distilled to their spiritual core, all seem to eventually converge to certain universal core values.

For me personally I was called to write this more so as a digestion of my observation of why I read, research, and try to develop myself. Why do I try to keep a glistening shine on my spiritual self? On top of that, I was pondering the paradox of enjoying the journey and if it is and infinite one, or do we eventually become truly enlightened? Do we hit “cruise control” at a certain level? How does one become considered a prophet, holy man, or sought after pinnacle of his or her faith?

As I looked through time, I noticed the most revered people of faith, the tops of the spiritual pyramids if you will, were not only praised, but often equally chastised. I also found the beliefs they taught or followed had many common traits described in their own vernacular, but they came from what many consider very “different” belief systems. They leaders were often ostracized or banished or even killed. Even though they taught love and human compassion, many of their followers thought others were incorrect, and at times deserving of imprisonment, or death. Regardless of what you or I believe, I find it confusing.

I guess what led me to this is I indeed have read, practiced, and researched the works of great spiritual teachers both current and past to experience a better life and appreciation for all things. Once a certain level is understood, the basic tenets are simple. Like basketball for example; it is easy. Put the ball in the basket. Now doing it in the dynamic of a game, when the obstacles are flying at you are where the challenges come in and the practice is needed. It shows too why there are only so many legends in this game as well. Consistency, patience, practice, understanding, tenacity, and heart all leverage growth and can be a difficult recipe for the masses to acquire.

I then wondered, is there a level where things just level out? Is there a time when your understanding is just so ingrained that life’s challenges are no longer as difficult or consuming? Is there a time when you totally release all circumstances to the, “it is in God’s ( or the universe’s, the Source’s, the deity of your choice’s) hands now, and I am totally okay with it?" Is there a point where faith and or spirituality are strong enough to where you truly, I mean truly find you are in honest and total acceptance and allowance? Not a façade you stand behind because you feel it is the right thing, what is expected, or that others will think less of you if you do not wave a banner of faith. It just was something I wonder about.

I see many of my friends of strong faith and conviction, and spiritual practice recently enduring some challenges. They turn to their faith and belief systems (as they should) to find solace. They turn to following the practices and teaching of the belief systems they follow. I then wondered, about the demeanor of the leaders of the faiths in question and how they got where they were spiritually in such situations. Maybe I have too much time on my hands. But I thought, we follow them because they have something extra special. They have overcome or gained an understanding we hope to someday achieve. They have endured enormous challenges of both physical and spiritual nature, and seem to arrive well on the other side. There is a gap between them and us we are led to aspire to close. That is why we study them.

Unfortunately since most of the supreme leaders of most belief systems are deceased, I am saddened that I cannot ask them some simple questions. I want to go to the source and not a mortal’s interpretation of their words.

A couple of days ago it was brought to my attention that His Holiness the Dalai Lama was coming to my neck of the woods soon. Then I thought, “He is a good example; a kind, gentle, and very wise soul!” Here is a man who is a leader to many and of great spiritual conviction. He also lives in the world I live in, in a time I live in. He also has suffered and to a much greater extent. He is estranged from his homeland against his will. He tries to share a message of love and peace in a challenging time. Great candidate!

I want to ask him if he cries. Does he, a great spiritual man, one of deep conviction, and leader to many break down at some of the things he sees or experiences? Does he consider himself still human like us, or does he feel he has elevated beyond the frailties due to his deep understanding? And yes I want to know too, is it weak to fall when we know better? Does it show we are mortal regardless of our training, or is that what we are actually supposed to achieve to experience humanity in its truest form? Is spiritual greatness adding to our knowledge or actually decreasing what we know? Is it more troubling to know too much or too little? If so what would that be and how much and by whose standard. I think I need more time than he would have for me.

I know that it is none of my business, but I just want to know that the people I have read about, and those I and others revere were perhaps a bit closer in some areas; to just for a moment think we are not so distant. Hopefully I will get a chance to see the Dalai Lama when he comes here to Ohio. I just want to know if he cries, and when I do that it is okay.

(*Note - I read many things to understand them, but it does not necessarily mean a practice or endorsement of the material)


pebbleinthepond1111 said...

"Jesus Wept". John 11:35

Tony Anders said...

Thank you!

YogaSavy said...

His eyes sparkle with all the emotions of a human being. I caught a glimpse of him in Dharamshala when he drove by and took a picture. I could see the sparkle even through the car window.

Timberwolf123 said...

Very nice Tony, I took comparative religions in both H.S. & College & totally agree that the core values of most religions are the same. My belief is that all of this great leaders are human & therefore can experience a "Bad Day" like any of us. With great spiritual training I think you can lessen the impact but I believe they can still encounter a "bad day". Just my thoughts. Thanks for another great read.



BTW If it's the soccer tournament I think it's 4 blocks from my house =D

Momma Fargo said...

Great post! I can't wait for his answer...and yes, it is OK if you cry. Just giving you permission...LOL. If he doesn't cry over emotional things, you might pinch him hard and I bet he would then...but that would be rude. I'm guessing the question way is best.

Healing Morning said...

HHDL definitely laughs - he has the most delightful, wily sense of humor when I have watched him in interviews on TV. How wonderful an experience you're going to have, getting to see him in person Tony! His energy is tremendous and I feel it even through the medium of television. Given that he has lived such a storied life, I am certain he feels all emotions deeply and I am equally certain he embraces those emotions fully...laughter, tears, joy, sadness.

What I love about him is how he cuts to the heart of matters and doesn't indulge attitudes that aren't productive and beneficial. I so envy you your experience to see him in person - enjoy it for all of us who have yet to do so!

~ Dawn

TirzahLaughs said...

Even if he doesn't have tears, he may cry/mourn on the inside. He seems like a person who is in tune with the world around. How can he not feel both joy and sadness?


Canyn said...

Loved reading this. I was touched by some of those feelings the first time I saw the Holy Shroud of Turin when it was highlighted in National Geographic. I had never thought of Jesus as a man before. Whether the shroud is authentic or not, the image is touching and, for me, almost too much to bear. As far as knowing where you are at spiritually, I was very recently comforted by reading what a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher named Dogen once said, "Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment." I guess if that's the case, we just keep working at it. Namaste.