His Holiness The Dalai Lama

His Holiness The Dalai Lama

What would the Dalai Lama do? This little tongue-in-cheek reference to the WWJD bracelets that were popular several years ago — came out of a conversation with a courageous friend, Debbie, when she experienced feeling powerless. The actual incident-story is tragi-funny on its own, but its real value came after we dissected it and Debbie’s feelings. I call her courageous because I believe it took guts for her to reveal her pain and vulnerability to us. The end result of the hash and re-hash resulted in our awareness that there was a point, long before the critical point, where Debbie was aware that something was wrong. She knew this just from her feelings. What would the Dalai Lama do? He never would have gotten himself in that situation in the first place. He would have acted at the first awareness. Now the phrase has become a shortcut joke for us, but the message is still very powerful and reminds us to trust our feelings and act at the first sign — not wait until the situation becomes critical.

Last week I started reading the Dalai Lama’s most recent book, Becoming Enlightened. I normally read books like this very slowly, a chapter at a time, or a little bit each morning. I enjoy them most when they can sink in gradually. Reading them slowly lets me absorb and use the material as I read it. Seems I can handle only one bite at a time with this book. I don’t understand it. (That gets my ego in an uproar: I’m smart, I’ve read a lot of books like this before, It must be the language he uses, It’s the translation syntax, etc…) I read only one or two paragraphs at a time, read them again, then have to stop because my brain has just shut off. Well, not completely. There is also a little voice that says, “You just don’t want to do what he’s saying, that’s why you keep saying, ‘I don’t understand this.’ “

So, WWTDLD? Sigh. I think he’d ask for help. I think he’d dig into what that little voice is saying.

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