Yay! Plenty of good stuff to read.
Have a wonderful weekend!
I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish this novel. I had intended to savor this novel, to read it slowly and reflect upon different sections as I read it but no, I couldn’t stop myself. Once I started reading, I was immersed into this wonderful reunion in which these two powerful individuals talked openly about humanity, they shared of themselves and the world around them.
The reunion was held in the home of Dalai Lama and during their visit they also celebrated his 80th birthday. These two highly influential men have met a handful of times before and they were meeting for five days to discuss what true joy was, how to achieve it and what the Eight Pillars of Joy were. I enjoyed this novel tremendously, I enjoyed the humor and the tenderness that they shared between them. The way they joked with one another, the patting of each other after a humorous chuckle, the holding of each other’s hands and just waiting for the other person to speak, spoke volumes for the love and respect that they had for one another. It is a treasured friendship, one that is picked up immediately upon seeing one another and it brought smiles and laughs from the individuals that they were around including myself as I read. What I read intrigued me and enlightened me and I know that I will have to reread this novel to fully appreciate it.
The reason this novel is so important now is that the world is hurting, in every part of the globe there are individuals who are struggling and need to find joy. There is no need for sorrow, they both agree on this. They both agree that individuals need each other to find joy and the concept behind joy. These great leaders go into great details, humorous at times, about these concepts and it was interesting, their ideas and the stories that they share, both personal and about others. Douglas probes them deeper into their thoughts about humanity exploring issues such as sadness, acceptance, gratitude, compassion and humility. There were lots of different subjects, stories and these leaders shared their views openly and I appreciated Douglas’ effort and the heartfelt responses that he received in return.
My eyes started to cloud over, the tears streaming down my cheeks as the Archbishop gets ready to depart for the airport. Their time together is over for now. The jokes, the hand holding and the way that they smiled at one another is coming to an end. They are both fighting for peace, they are both getting up there in years, one is battling an illness, and one is restricted in where he can travel, who knows if they will ever see each other in-person again and they know this. This is a novel that should be read, one that should be reflected upon for there are many inspirations and views inside.
Not so much fly-on-the-wall as cat-on-the-sill, this is the warmhearted tale of a small kitten rescued from the slums of New Delhi who finds herself in a beautiful sanctuary with sweeping views of the snow-capped Himalayas. In her exotic new home, the Dalai Lama’s cat encounters Hollywood stars, Buddhist masters, Ivy-league professors, famous philanthropists, and a host of other people who come visiting His Holiness. Each encounter offers a fresh insight into finding happiness and meaning in the midst of a life of busy-ness and challenge. Drawing us into her world with her adorable but all-too-flawed personality, the Dalai Lama’s cat discovers how instead of trying to change the world, changing the way we experience the world is the key to true contentment.
I saw the Dalai Lama speak in Boulder, Colorado this morning. I couldn’t hear well and it seemed like every time he made an important point I only heard the grinding of an ice machine in the concession stand. Even so, I feel fortunate and grateful that I was able to attend.
Before he began, the city of Boulder presented him with a bicycle helmet—an appropriate gift for that college town. He put the helmet on, then he said it could represent protection against affliction on one’s life journey.
He spoke both in English and Tibetan (through his interpreter), and impressed me as both erudite and humble, both knowledgeable and inquisitive. He urged his fellow believers to practice a 21st century Buddhism, rather than one appropriate to the past—a very contemporary idea from a man born 81 years ago.
I won’t be lengthy and conclude with these words which I hope I took down correctly, “It is very important to understand that all world religions have the same message, and that is love.”
Why is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? A Westerner's Introduction and Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Practice applies the ancient traditions of Tibetan Buddhism to modern life through a series of step-by-step instructions and explanations and comes with portable meditation cards, a handy glossary of terms, and foundation lessons from the Namchak Foundation eCourses.
One doesn't expect to find science 'tidbits' peppered into a spiritual treatise, but they are wonderfully present here. Rupert Sheldrake's research into morphic resonance is among the works supporting these Buddhist practices and discoveries.
There are many candid discussions about this process, such as why people get 'stuck' in processing lives and choosing paths, how to block hindering karmic channels, or how to sustain an uninterrupted session of Tranquil Abiding - all aided by color photos throughout.
There's also an unexpected thread of humor that runs through many discussions ("Now you're ready to "assume the position". No, not THAT position!").
More so than almost any other book covering Tibetan Buddhist wisdom and its applications, these are just a few of the methods utilized by Lama Tsomo to make a potentially technical or confusing discussion lively and accessible to her audience. When combined with her powerful, exact messages, which take ethereal philosophy and spirituality and translate them to accessible, compelling, and actionable ideas, readers are in for a real treat.
This book is simply exquisite. It's packed with colorful visual insights, meditative connections, and strategies for mindfulness and change; all wound into a format that is bright, joyful, and hard to put down. It promises to reach readers with a verve and usefulness that exceeds most other discussions of Tibetan Buddhist practices directed to Western audiences, and should be on the shelves of any new age or spirituality collection.