As Timmi and I entered the Rancho Los Lomas resort and zoological garden for a mediation summit, it took our breath away. Mother Nature was the backdrop, and she left all of us who gazed upon her in a deep state of respect and awe. Standing in silence, we looked at each other, took a deep breath and pinched ourselves to make sure that this experience was real. We walked into a garden, where 400 chairs were placed under large trees, sheltering us from the sun. Peak Mind, a non-profit organization that aims to make the power of meditation known to each and every person, hosted the event to spotlight meditation and its benefits. One of the goals of the organization, that really resonated with us, is to bring meditation into the school system.
As we awaited the arrival of the Dalai Lama, a calm and sacred energy filled the air. Once His Holiness was seated, actor and social activist Forest Whitaker led the singing of “Happy Birthday” in honor of his 80th birthday.
“I thank you for your good wishes for my birthday, but I think of every new day as a birthday,” his Holiness said. “It’s a day we celebrate with joy, which is an indication that the purpose of our lives is to be happy. When we combine our intelligence with warm-heartedness it can be useful and constructive.”
We listened closely as the Dalai Lama talked about the 7-billion humans on the Earth belonging to one human family. Problems arise when we dwell on the secondary differences between us, he said. We need to remember instead that, as human beings, we are all the same. If we do that, we can strengthen our concern for others and the environment of this planet; this is our only home.
He asked that we meditate together for 5-minutes, suggesting that we keep our eyes cast down, but not closed, and focus on the breath. A quote that always lingers in my mind is, “If every eight-year-old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” I can see this to be true. Timmi and I both agreed that we experienced a shift in tranquility within ourselves, just within the short 5-minute meditation.
After the meditation, the Dalai Lama asked if anyone had questions for him. One of my favorite questions that was asked to was “How does it feel to be the focus of millions of people’s attention?” He explained that he does not think of himself as the Dalai Lama, but as just another human being. When he thinks of himself that way, he finds himself surrounded by friends, more relaxed and at ease. Everyone applauded, and it confirmed why so many people from all over the world honor and digest his wisdom. He evokes the energy of connection, which is at the base of human nature. His laughter is infectious, and his light is so bright. It was the perfect way to spend the 4th of July. As we honored the spiritual independence within ourselves, we felt connected to the whole world.
“Changing the world starts with individuals, not waiting for instructions from the United Nations or the White House,” he said.
We are so honored to have been among this intimate and sacred gathering with the Dalai Lama. We were among a small group of mindful influencers; a group that was unbelievably inspiring. Energy Muse donated meditation crystal bags to each of the attendees in effort to contribute to the mediation movement. The healing crystals in the bag were Quartz Crystal for a clear mind, Amethyst for contentment and Fluorite for compassion.