Sunday, October 21, 2007

Contemplating Peace from Religious Perspectives

Eminent theologians from Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, Christian and of course the Dalai Lama represented the Buddhist faith came together today at Emory University in Atlanta. I was graced to be in the presence of my daughter and other special friends who all were open-minded people. I sat with 3,000 or so other folks who also came to listen respectfully and take in what the Dalai Lama and other theologians had to say about how to contribute in any way to building peace.

The Dalai Lama was thoroughly charming, endearing, and very tender in the way he spoke to us, and the way he interacted with his "peers." He spoke of many things, the importance of children feeling safe and secure in their mother's arms -- taking that secure feeling with us out into the world in a feeling we would later identify as a feeling of happiness. He talked of the importance of family and how family is the place where that happiness is encouraged to grow and develop, and that while many of us might or might not accumulate knowledge and degrees and higher education, all of us were capable to working toward mutual respect with others and working toward peace.

He spoke of his respect for and incorporation of the ideas of Mohandas Ghandi and how Ghandi worked in his lifetime for the Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists to respect each other and allow one another to worship in peace. He spoke of humans having universal human rights and that all 600 billion people on the planet were due respect as holy beings.

I hope what I have written is an accurate interpretation of what I heard. It was incredible to hear him speak in his articulate and simple ways. I also enjoyed hearing Sister Joan Chittister give all those old men holy hell for continuing the patriarchy out of habit, and it gave me hope that apparently the Dalai Lama heard her words and genuinely took them in with regard to Buddhism. (Read more about the speakers here.)

The speaker who represented the Hindu perspective, is, in fact, Ghandi's grandson and he was also an articulate speaker who reminded us, that as the Dalai Lama spoke of the great warm feeling of happiness one finds when returning home, he still is not able to return to his home, Tibet. In exile now for more than 48 years, there is no crack in the Chinese viewpoint concerning the land which was once the place and home for the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism. Something that causes sadness for many, many Tibetans and Chinese.

I got to see the mandala up close. It was a divine moment. Just divine. It's 100 times more beautiful up close than it is at a distance. The detail and the perfection of those bright colors and designs is sublime.

I lay down in the car the whole way there. I lay down in the car the whole way back. I'm buoyed up by the excitement but there is no question that I am holding this bed DOWN for the rest of the evening! I'm so glad I got to go. I loved having friends and family around me at such a wonderful moment. I'm glad to be home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your blog and the wonderful experience you had hearing all those good things.You just keep up your positive thoughts,and I think half of the battle is won. Your a brave lady!!!
Take CAre,