However, I do kill big spiders that I find in my house and the mosquitoes that eat me alive in the summer. And I will never be able to be free of attachments. While it would pain me to give up my favorite boots and necklace, I could do that. My kids, however, not them. They are one "attachment" that I could not give up. So, I am far from a textbook Buddhist. But when I found out that the Dalai Lama was coming to town, I was ecstatic. It did feel ironic to shell out as much as I did for my ticket to see a man who lives such a humble and simple life, but he makes contributions to great causes so it felt justified.
The downtown mall was packed the day of the event. Despite the number of people everyone seemed happy and relaxed. Honestly, I don't think I noticed anyone upset or yelling the whole afternoon. As cliche as it sounds as I listened to him talk about compassion and kindness, I felt a very peaceful. There is a possibility that this had to do with the fact that I didn't have three children pecking at me for their every want and need, but I really do feel it was deeper than that! The ideals that the Dalai Lama promotes are nothing new. We all know that being happy makes us healthy. We inherently know that being kind to one another and compassionate for those who are different from us is the right thing to do and would lead to this world being a much better place. But in the hustle and bustle and stress of daily life, it can be so easy to forget. As with all things that will improve your life, though, it takes work. We must work to remember the Golden Rule and follow it. We must work to not let our impulsiveness override doing the right thing. We must work to focus our life on compassion and kindness instead of ambition and ego. Being reminded of this and knowing that there are others out there who also strive for this (as evidenced by the thousands of people there with me) brought me a great sense of peace. It was a wonderful experience. Even if I don't always remember exactly what was said that day, I hope that I can always remember what the Dalai Lama stands for... kindness, compassion, and peace.