I thought it would be a Tuesday like many – taking care of business, running errands, a bit of self-care.  It quickly turned from ordinary to extraordinary as I was invited to see the Dalai Lama! (Thank you Kathy Rank!).  I immediately turned my car around, re-arranged a few things and made my way to see this beacon of peace and love.

That love and peace was palpable even in such a huge arena.  He was playful, honest, beautiful.

His  message was simple, yet incredibly profound.

The Dalai Lama reminded us that we are all the same, made of the same ‘star stuff.’  Everyone wants a happy life, everyone has a right to their desire of that happiness, for their desire of peace.  Every being, every living thing.  He spoke of the importance of knowing this and having an open mind – an open mind that allows in questions – questions that ignite effort to find an answer.

The questions themselves can be simple.  Are we stepping away from humanity? Are we spinning stories in our mind that keeps us in a place of ‘self-importance.’  Are we in a space of ‘old thinking’, where there is division and differences?  How often do we live that way, in the space of that truth? It is so easy to pit you against me, to compare, to judge, to say that our differences are a relevant cause for separation.

These answers, profound in themselves, lead us to more questions.  Are you courageous enough to be a ‘new thinker’ where all thoughts lead to global unity and your  ‘sense of self’ is in union with all other beings?  All those beings whose basic nature is compassion and joy?  Can your sense of self be within a circle wide enough to include all? In the space of love he offers, we see each other in our sameness, similar. There, our differences merely ‘highlight’ our unique essence. 

The Dalai Lama has said again and again we can pray for peace, but it will only come through action. Actions that move us away from separation toward unity. Actions that will be known to us when we look inside ourselves. 

Today, may we all open our minds, become new thinkers, and hear the message. May we be inspired and courageous enough to make it a daily practice to invite in the questions that will lead us to clarity and wisdom, to know the contribution we can make to bring peace, love, joy to our world.  There, we become our own beacon of light and peace.