Last Thursday I gave myself a gift. I saw the Dali Lama give a teaching at the Wang Center in Boston. It has forever changed my life, This is not said to be dramatic (although I am Italian and you know we can be dramatic at times:) Riding the T into Boston, it was almost like you could feel his healing presence on the subway. People seemed softer and if you are from Boston or have been to Boston, you know that this is some serious energy. While Bostonians are not known to be soft, there was a lightness in the air. You could breath more freely. There was no pushing and shoving. There was no high elated energy either such as when any sports team plays a game. The only word I can conjure up to describe it is humble. The look in people’s eyes was softer as if they just knew that grace was in their presence. Interestingly enough, this changed when I got down to the Wang Theater where he was to meet us. There were many, many people there waiting patiently to get in and there were many other people protesting in fear. The energy was multi dimensional and frenetic at times. Just standing in line, I found myself wanting to remain in that humble state while swirls of chaotic energy were surrounding me. It was almost like these people too could feel the energy and it was stirring things inside of them that they may not be ready to feel. Inside life was quiet and still. Again, my energy sunk deep into the earth; into a place deep inside me that also hadn’t been touched in a while but was welcomed nonetheless.
The day was filled with so much. Everything from his words, to his mannerisms, to his child like giggle were awe inspiring. The way he drank his coconut water on stage like a little kid with chocolate milk. He spoke of love, kindness, compassion. Sentiments not generally heard unless one is giving a motivational speech. He embodied grace and evoked light into my dark places. In describing it, all I can say was that it was like watching love in action. He may have been far away (although seats were amazing) but he might as well have been right in front of me giving me a big hug. Like the kind I would get from my Italian grandfather who has since passed. You know the kind. The big, I love you, never want to let go of you kind of hug. He’s far from being Italian but he definitely gets that everyone is family. In fact maybe that’s one of the things about Buddhism that has always fit just nicely. All sentient beings are connected and therefore the universe is like one big family. Just like anyone that comes to an Italian home. There is always room for one more at the dinner table. The Dali Lama’s love was just the medicine this Italian girl needed. Life has been feeling a little haggard lately as I run after my dreams. It wasn’t until I stopped last Thursday that I was really able to begin to feel what that marathon was beginning to do to my body and soul. When you run after something that you so desperately want it can be easy to begin to lose perspective and forget that compassion is not just for others but first it has to be for yourself. I realized that I was beginning to create a heart centered business while leaving myself out in the cold. Um that just ain’t gonna work girl. You want to be the one that practices what you preach? Then you actually need to incorporate the practice into your every move, every day. You can’t put that sh*t on hold While marketing your heart centered practice to all you meet, hoping that they won’t see that inside you feel like crap. I have been treating myself like a robot, feeding myself good food and all but still expecting far more than any human being would be capable of doing without proper rest and nourishment. It took being around His Holiness’s love in action to help me to see that my own heart needed a little opening to myself.
Why is this stuff so hard to do? Why must some of us have to hit a proverbial brick wall so that we can feel that it is still very hard and hurts very much? Well for me, I feel like moving through this dynamic is the work of this lifetime. I was able to see most recently exactly where it stems from and that level of clarity helps me to see where I need to heal. We all have spaces inside where we have been hurt. Instead of engaging in the action of love towards ourselves, some of us have become more inclined to take a pitch fork and dig into that area that is hurt. These days there is never enough time or energy to do everything that my mind tells me I need to do. Seeing the Dali Lama helped me to take a step back and see the forest through the trees. There are two parts to manifestation; doing and being. If I don’t give myself a chance to just be and trust, then my doing will most likely destroy what I am working on building. Thanks to my by body and spirit’s message as well as a little ole fashion New England autumn weather, I got to give myself the gift I very much needed; a weekend in stillness. Well, just as life would have it, my body and spirit were ready for some good ole fashion being. I can’t say that the pattern is forever broken but I can say that experiencing love in action from this amazing soul has helped me to see how much I desperately need my own love.
It’s such a subtle thing, that thing called self care. It can’t happen only when you schedule time in for it. In order for it to shift things inside, it needs to happen on a regular basis. One quote I read from the Dali Lama says “love and compassion are necessities; no luxuries.” Ah yes, we need not forget that love and compassion are the cake not the icing. They are as essential as air, food, shelter. And we ALL are deserving of them. How do you show yourself love? What helps you to practice love in action towards yourself?
Cheers to self love!