Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Face of Holiness

Woke this morning at 6:50am and decided almost immediately, after last night's uncertainty, that it was important to attend the Long Life Ceremony for HH the 14th Dalai Lama.
By 7:10am I was en route to the main temple...the following is what I wrote by hand while sitting and watching. (I am going to type it as it appears in my notes, replete with expressive capitalizations)

Seated upstairs at the main temple, again not exactly sure what to expect. I'm enjoying watching an elderly Tibetan monk seated on the ground nearby trying to convey something to some westerners in animated gestures.
Sometimes language is unnecessary.

You don't look at clothing here, so much. You look at faces. At motions.

The constant chanting of mantras passes into my core. A strange soft warmth fills me.
For a moment, I understand EVERYTHING.
These people are not here for me to "love" in western terms. They are here for me to LOVE, purely, unconditionally.
They are my GURUS!
The energy is pure life force...although until today I just had no other way to interpret it except as "sexual". An invisible thread is pulling bodies to sway in unison.
I know HH is near when I see a monk pour his tea...I know it is his tea because the mug is set next to his "dias", I have seen this ritual before.
Then the horns, the cymbals...crowd rising to its feet, hands steepled.
HH arrives, passes into the temple sanctum, takes his seat as attendees bow.
Indian military with machine guns stroll the perimeter as the pocha and sweet rice servce begn.
I don't so much hear the chants anymore as feel them straight through my ribcage and lower abdomen.

HH is seated on a dias just out of my line of vision. Every now and then I catch a glimpse of his hands, the hat on his head as he leans forward, his red-robed knee.

Monk robes hold great appeal for me, aesthetically. Draped, sweeping, graceful, elegant...they lend an air of mystery; they are the creatures under them are ethereal, something "more than". Transcendent.

After the prayer ceremony and offerings and blessings, the guards shift the crowd to make a path for HH and the other dignitaries. High Lamas with their conch shell horns herald the passage of HH.
To my shock and delight, HH stops about 3 feet in front of me to talk to some girls holding "Free Tibet" signs. He is so close I could literally touch his arm without stretching! I hear his natural, unaided voice ask them "What country?" and thank them for their support.
The Tibetan man beside me and I look at one another simultaneously, both absolutely beaming at our shared good fortune. A few feet further on he paused again to accept some Buddha and Hanuman statuettes being offered by a local inchi hippie guy. HH looks amused at the Hanuman, turning it over in his hands, even playing with its movable tail like a child delightedly examining a new toy.
Totally unpretentious.
This IS where I need to be.
This is the answer to everything.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't his aura palipable! I've been with him many times. Took both the Lam Rim and the Kalachakra from him. And have seen him a couple of times at the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya in Red Feathers Lakes Colorado. May he stay with us a very long time!