Dalai Lama and Me

A couple of years ago (even though it seems like a lifetime) I was an adjunct professor at WVU-Parkersburg. Although I taught several courses over five years, the one that I taught the most was “Religions of the World.” It was fascinating for me to teach this course mainly because I did not have a great background in other religions. So, each semester I found myself learning something new and different as I prepared for the course. I also learned quite a bit about how people view religion from the variety of students that I had taking the course. It truly was a fascinating time.

Part of the “Post-A-Day” recommendation for today was to write about the 11th thing on your bucket list. Well, I have never taken the time to write out a bucket list but the recommendation that I read early this morning had me thinking about some things. Later in the day, I was wandering through the Mercer Mall waiting for my eyes to be a little less dilated from an eye exam and I ran across one of those page-a-day calendars called, Insights from the Dalai Lama.  With my unwritten bucket list on my mind, I decided to buy this calendar (at 50% off) as much for fun as it would be for the insight I might gain from reading it AND the insight I might gain from people’s response to me reading it.

The Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama

Because of my experience with teaching about religions of the world, I think that meeting the Dalai Lama could well end up as number 11 on my bucket list. I could easily put it higher because I think meeting this man would be absolutely fascinating. I don’t think I would put it in the top ten because I really see no reason for the Dalai Lama and I to ever have paths that would cross close enough for me to meet him. Of course, even if they did there is the whole “Why would this Tibetan Buddhist monk want to meet a United Methodist pastor from Southern West Virginia?” that would have to be answered as well. So, I think meeting the Dalai Lama would make a great Number 11 on my bucket list!

BTW – if you are interested, here is the “insight” this humble man shares with us today…”If you are a compassionate person, then you build a compassionate family and then a compassionate community and then a compassionate world.”

Whether you are Buddhist or not – and I am not – I can hardly argue with the truth of that statement. So many times I wish the world would be a more compassionate place but that is only going to happen if it starts with me. I can easily rephrase the Dalai Lama’s words and say, “If I will love as Jesus loved, then truly I would change my family, my community, and the world.”

So, I will probably never meet the Dalai Lama but at least this year I will get to read his wisdom from time to time. (I would say every day but I am absolutely terrible at tearing off the pages of those calendars regularly…don’t know why, I just am.) And perhaps, I will share some of that wisdom on the journey we are all taking home…


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