His Holiness

Some days it is quite hard to be me and some days I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Yesterday morning I woke up early and decided to get online and check my email only to have my computer completely crash on me. I went to morning practice and tried desperately to put my toasted computer out of my mind, but of course I failed. I met a guy yesterday who told me a variation on a Buddhist lesson, which pretty much sums up my day.
A man asks his guru to tell him the secret to meditation. The guru says it is simple – for the next week do not think about monkeys. The man is confused, but thanks his teacher and goes home. For the next week the man thinks about monkeys nonstop, over morning tea he envisions monkeys in trees, at night as he falls asleep he sees playful monkeys dancing, monkeys monkeys everywhere, all the time. At the end of the week he tells his teacher how he has failed and his teacher tells him that the secret to meditating is to quiet the monkeys in the mind.

My monkey was my defunct MacBook. All day I fretted over my computer. Have I lost all my photos? When was my last back up? How will I write to the website and so on? Basically I spent the whole day uselessly worrying. But finally at about 9pm after an hour-long call to Apple Care, I decided to stop worrying and to take it as an opportunity to minimize a distraction and to focus on my surroundings.
LinkI woke up today in an absolutely stellar mood. I all but skipped to morning practice, I got into Marichyasana D all by myself and then for fun I did some Bhujapidasana and even threw in a Kurmasana for good measure. I emerged from the yogashala beaming. I skipped back home and then went off to Om Café for some breakfast before my anatomy class. At breakfast I overheard some other yogis talking about venturing up north next week to try and catch the Dalai Lama who is supposed to be giving a talk there.

Wow – the Dalai Lama, what could be cooler than seeing his holiness speak in India of all places. This summer he spoke in Aspen and I so wanted to go. However, the fact that tickets to the event were somewhere around $1000 and that it took place while I was in France prevented my attendance.

I went in to my anatomy class and tried to focus on the Psoas and the transverse abdoniminous something or another, but today the Dalai Lama was my monkey and my mind kept leaping back to the chance to get to see him.

Class finished and Noah, the teacher said “hey, I heard the Dalai Lama is speaking at the university in Mysore today, I am heading over to see if I can catch him. There’s space on my bike if anyone wants to tag along.” Fifteen minutes later I was in the presence of his Holiness the Dalai Lama. Along with about 300 university students I listened as he gave a speech on Ahimsa.

Ahimsa is simply put the principle of non-violence. It means to live a non-harming life, to foster beauty and harmony, to live peacefully. It is one of Yama’s of yogic philosophy, part of the eight limbs and affectively Yamas are the golden rules of a yogi.
On this day, I was in India, seeing to the spiritual leader of Buddhism talk about ahimsa. Twenty-four hours before it never even occurred to me that seeing the Dalai Lama was an option while I was here, but as fate would have it... there I was.
On this day, I am the luckiest girl in the world.


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