Wednesday, 19 June 2013

His Holiness on Education.


Hearing the Dalai Lama speak.

On Tuesday 18th of June, I went to see the Dalai Lama speak in Melbourne.

His teachings on the relationship to education and non violence, compassion and a secular society bought comfort to me, while I say t there, my usually jittery legs quiet as I concentrated on the screen, and watched him stand up, to talk for over an hour before he answered some questions.

What I liked about the talk, is the compassion I felt, the resonant feeling of the willing audience to listen, the welcome to country from an indigenous elder.

It filled me with a sense of hop, that in the direness of the planet and the problems for people worldwide, that someone, whom did seem very humble, and ‘like an old friend’, spoke with such elegance and simplicity.

When he did not know the answer to a question, he imply stated, ‘I don’t know!’. How wonderful if our politicians oozed the same honesty, instead of trying to save face.

In the Universal Embrace, the location is at a buddhist temple, a place of worship, and symbolising the state of flux of change, and also past history, of building, and of the link in the photo between the symbolic bridge in Footscray to an ancient past and a celebratory moment in the present.

His holiness was very present, very confident to speak, light hearted, often, he giggled and cracked jokes, which delighted the audience.

My project describes a loving present for me personally, and celebrates compassion, and tolerance, and follows in the expression of this in terms of its queer ideology. The description of tolerance in a secular society, especially in terms of education, was paramount to his speech, and although he jokes ‘people call me a buddhist’, as if to throw that idea away, he teaches beyond buddhism, beyond religion.

He spoke highly of christian, muslim, and hindu faiths and said the core of those religions was love.

In my project, it focusses on love. I like to think that a gay embrace can be used in a secular way to exhibit all love between people, and across faiths.

I have had a lot to go though in my time as a person on the planet, including schizophrenia, drugs abuse, some bad decisions, and sexuality issues, including the many philosophical/metaphysical ones.  I have just read in some of my notes, that to practice forgiveness leads to tolerance. I feel a lot of the time I beat myself up for mistakes in the past, and that I should learn to be tolerant of my own past actions. He was saying too-that karmically, when you become aware, you can change actions that have negative outcomes by the practice of self forgiveness and forgiveness of others. In this context, he refers to taking responsibility for who you are and where you are. Its quite a heavy philosophical statement, but the way he described it was simple and easy to understand.

Be kind to yourself, and kind to others, for it is always possible.

He described that across religions, that the secular ethics of human values is strong, and that everyone can contribute to a better world. It was quite funny when he said ‘raise your hands if you’re under 15’, and a few hands went up. Then, 20-50, and lots of hands went up.

He jokingly suggested that the last century is past and that the people inhabiting last century are ‘on the way out’, and you cannot do anything to change it, and that the young people, through the secular values of society via the base of world religions compassion and tolerance, that peace is possible this century-with good education. 

I delighted in the word. Education. For a long time, without realising it, I have been an educator, and also someone whom has made a lot of mistakes! Still, you learn through these, and although my narrative will follow through with a snapshot of my unfolding fibonacci spiral life until now, its nice to know that metaphorical bridge is there between the past and the present.

He reminded us that the Buddah clearly stated that ‘You are your own master!’. I find some excitement and also some fear in this. I’m reminded of two buddhist quotes too: ‘After enlightenment, the laundry’, and that ‘If you are on the path, things are as they are, if you are not on the path, things are as they are’. It seems no matter how enlightened you are, of course there is much work to do! I am here now with what I know and feel, doing what I do, recording a narrative in words and art.

This narrative is a sort of a symbolic path, that will eventually distil themes from my life and through my research that crystalize into new knowledge, and for that I’m most excited.

I'll definitely write some more notes on this soon with reference to the talk. I feel very lucky to have attended-it was a 40th birthday present from my parents, bless them.
The nosebleed section!

A seagull came to visit me whilst having a coffee while waiting to attend the Dalai Lamas talk. I was waiting for a friend, and the seagull landed to look at me, most likely wanting food-but I did not have any. By the time I got my phone out and took a pic, he was flying away, in impermanence.

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