Today I was fortunate to attend a talk by his Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
In a giant stadium of thousands, his entrance evoked a cessation of all sound, as we stood to greet him. I was shocked to tears by the immediate silence. A profound peace fell across the space as we watched him walk toward the stage, and turn, hands together at heart center as he bowed in acknowledgement. Way up in the nose bleed we couldn’t hear him, but my sis and I returned the greeting of Namaste…the God in me honors the God in you…
In that moment whatever sorrow, malcontent, and even flippant, casual dialogue evaporated. In that moment I felt stillness, peace, and as odd as it must sound, I felt the love he had for each and everyone of us in that room. A moment of transfiguration…of being seen as more than just flesh and bones.
A glorious moment actually. And again the tears came. They were my exhale. My sigh of relief. My acceptance of the love. In that moment, I wanted to be nice, to sing, to hug, and hold, and comfort perfect strangers. My soul awash in the KNOWING that we are all ONE. Connected beings interdependent and independent. I felt invincible, indefatigable, and dare I say BEAUTIFUL!
I couldn’t help but wonder how I greet my son each morning. I couldn’t help but wonder how I greet children I pass on the street- especially those engaging in “inappropriate” behavior… I shuddered knowing that on a “good” day, I’m radiant and light and loving. On those days, where my heart is burdened, when my mind is cluttered with the stresses and strains of living – my words can be toxic- imbued with anger, frustration, and judgement…
We aspire to raise compassionate Children, even at our most despicable parent moments… I have no doubt. Yet I’m more and more convinced that we must CONSTANTLY and CONSISTENTLY model loving kindness, being free from judgement, speaking in non-violent, kind ways, and being gentle. Our children are watching us. They learn from the example we set- the way we treat them, others, and even ourselves…
Whatever our spiritual, religious, political, or metaphysical proclivity…. I can almost guarantee that there are fundamental tenents that include something about kindness, love, mercy, justice, and patience…
Imagine if we were able to inspire in our children what our venerated leaders, teachers, and guides inspire in us….
Just a thought.
5 thoughts on “Compassionate Children”
I struggle with this one quite frankly. I wonder where the revolutionary spirit develops in people who are always happy. I also find that the always “calm” among us have quite chilling methods of invoking harm to others. I do not mean to suggest that this is the case for the Dalai Lama. But what about the rest of us? How many of us know “happy” pacifists who sacrifice being angry to welcome being ignorant?
I don’t think the point is to be a pacifist. I think the point is to maintain an inner sense of calm, to recognize injustice without allowing your inner self to become a place of chaos and turmoil. He emphasized dialogue as the only way to resolve conflict, to see the world or an issue from the other person’s point of view and work it out not through force, but through empathy.
this placed so much on my heart, last night…i had to dream about it and wake up with a renewed sense of purpose…starting FIRST….with my propensity for road rage outbursts…my children see the ugliest parts of me when i drive behind the wretchedly slow of the earth…for that, i am truly sorry…and will pay much closer attention to the lessons i teach through action, alone…love ya!
Thank you for sharing Salina. A friend of mine was at this same meeting with the Dalai Lama, and she experienced similiar to what you did!
I agree, LaToya. It’s not necessarily about being “happy”, but having a deeper sense of peace, of contentment. Growing up, I had a wicked sense of anger. LOL Tanji, I was probably the one that was always happy but would slice you with the blade of my tongue if you came at me sideways. My anger produced violent headaches, trembling, and I believe, a permanent downturn of my eyebrows. One day, I had enough. I had to change. I didn’t want my future children to battle this same demon. Over the years, I have worked hard to develop my inner peace, mantra, om, whatever. Friends always remark there is a calm spirit about me. I’m a nurturer; I must. Now, I do have moments, but it’s a test to balance it out.
Peace , this is a dope piece! Im a papa/parent of color and I have recently worked with a mentor of mine who is an artist/buddhist. I was given a book he contributed to after a big project called “We are one” and although I have not finished reading it entirely-these words you wrote about compassion struck me as something I could practice more actively. I often ride the bus in the Bay Area and see young people get into fights,arguments, squabbles that i often throw my hands in the air in defeat about when they happen….Now I think I will try some compassionate words next time it happens.Dont know if it will work, but at least i will have tried.