Meeting the Dalai-Lama

Where do I start? As I walked down to my seat I was already moved by the simple fact of being there! What an amazing experience. You can find out more about this event at and read his Teachings on compassion (click here!), and the speech he made in Ottawa yesterday here.

As his Holiness the Dalai Lama made his way to the stage, the crowd stood up to welcome and greet him with the utmost respect. Fortunately, I had already taken out a tissue as a precautionary measure for uncontrollable eye wateriness!!

It is with great modesty and an attaching personality that the Dalai Lama delivered messages of peace and compassion. He emphasized on the demilitarization of the world and the use of these large monetary resources towards education and the eradication of poverty. He explained and suggested ideas on how to bring more compassion into our lives and the importance to make decisions based on everyone’s interests and well-being for the future of our planet.

Smiling and laughing throughout the Teachings he shared with us this weekend, he spoke about the fear and anxiety that arises from individualistic behaviors. When we decide to take on an attitude of self-centeredness, we become weary of the others around us, resulting in further isolation. And so, although some actions may seem advantageous at the time, they may not be beneficial to us in the long run. This is why intention is key: are we doing so only for our own personal advancement, or are we thinking of the impact this will have on others around us?

He spoke about the advances in technology and the interest of science in spirituality, looking at the effects of meditation on the neurones and the body’s health. He shared his opinion on our current education system, suggesting that it should focus more on the development of the mind and on human relationships than on acquiring material goods. Although money is necessary, it is the use we make of it that could have a greater social impact.

Environmental consciousness and the need to protect our planet and consume more responsibly was also discussed at length. He emphasized on the reality of the relationship we have with the Earth, the fact that by destroying it we are bringing harm to all living things. That we must recognize our oneness, our unity with all life.

Sitting down after sharing his thoughts with us, he answered questions sent in prior to this event. On a question about parenting, he reiterated the necessity for the presence and demonstration of affection by both parent’s in the child’s development, this affection being the seed of compassion. That in order to create a better world for tomorrow we must start now by teaching our children compassion, by showing them the importance of others and the necessity to respect them and to let go of our self-centeredness and fears.

In the end, it is hard to describe this encounter with words that appropriately reflect the feelings I felt, but I will start with these: moved, inspired, relieved, joyful, unity, peace, calm, at ease, and many more. It was a lot to take in and I am glad, honoured even, to have met such a remarkable human being.


Releasing fears

We all have some. Everyone deals with their sets of insecurities and psychological obstacles that hinders their growth. However, even though we know they are there, a lot of us pretend like they are not. And so, these fears, these elements of our lives that are slowing us down and stopping us from achieving our pure potential, are instead buried away, deep down inside.

The good news is we can all be free of them! Whether we believe in certain support systems, healing energy, or not, it is all in there somewhere. WE are the one we have been waiting for. WE all have the power to heal ourselves, to find these hiding places and to release these locked up fears and emotions.

What is important to understand is that everyone is different so we all heal differently. Some people do not need guidance, support or help, but others do. This does not mean however that some are stronger or weaker than others. We simply react and store those stimuli differently and so this is why there are various methods to guide us in releasing these.

And so, which ever way you function, take a moment to acknowledge the barriers that are preventing you to live a fuller life. Do not focus on material goods as they only divert your attention to non-essential things. Instead, see how you could be a better person to yourself and your loved ones. And finally, understand that you hold the key, you ARE the key. So breathe, and let go.


Facing your fears

What is your biggest fear? What situation provokes an irrational reaction when you are faced with it? Do you run up the stairs when all the lights are turned off? Do you have difficulty expressing yourself? Do you fear others will judge you? Are you afraid of being alone, not loved? Are you afraid to trust others for the fear you might get hurt, again?

You may have a very relevant reason for this behaviour. Nonetheless, most of what we identify as fears, are irrational fears and the result of our emotional construct. Often times, these fears are carried over from past traumatic events to which we have assigned a heightened emotional response.

In some cases, we might not even be aware of it. We will react in a certain way and have strong feelings about a situation. We may feel stressed and agitated until the situation resolves itself. Our relationships with others may even be affected by it. As though a veil has been placed over our reality, we are no longer able to see the situation for what it really is.

I recently became aware of such an irrational fear I seem to have been dragging along for the past 12 years! I had never realized at which point it affected me and my relationship with others. I am not quite sure how I came about this realisation, but today I have decided to face it. I will not go into detail, as this is my own personal journey, but I will say that a higher sense of emotional awareness will inevitably result in greater well-being. Or at least, that is what I am aiming for!

Irrational fears are based on events or situations that do not exist (or no longer exist): the past… and the future in some way. Rational fear, which we could attribute to a person pointing a gun at us or a bear chasing us, you get the point, only happens in the present.

And so, if our relationships with others are always tainted by the fear that they will judge us or that they will cheat us, it will never be possible to develop meaningful relationships until we understand that we are carrying past events into our present life. We are making our future more into this past we seem to want to get away from. Just like a skipping disk (see Samskara), we are faced with the same situation to which we react the same way over and over and over. Only you can decide to get up and place the needle elsewhere and, literally, face the music.

I wish us all courage, perseverance, patience and self-confidence in exploring our most inner fears. No need to make radical changes to our life. Identify where you are starting from, as a first step, since only by knowing where you stand can you move forward.


Grounding modesty

It is a humbling feeling to be told that we are wrong. Sometimes, it is hard to accept or acknowledge. Sometimes we rather fight than admit that we are wrong. This has always been a hard thing for me to do. The difference now, in most cases, is that I am choosing to listen… eventually!

When someone tells us that we are wrong, or we did something wrong, most of us has this immediate reaction of building up a wall. I don’t know if you’ve tried, but it’s pretty hard to have a conversation with someone that’s in another room! In fact, I am inclined to think that the majority of human relationship suffers greatly from these many walls we put up.

So why do we react this way? The Ego doesn’t like weakness. The school system has also thought us that we should know, that we will be tested and that we will either succeed or fail. And so, if we are wrong then we are weak, if we are weak then we are of no importance, and so on, and so forth. So how can we stop the cycle? I guess it depends. It depends because many won’t even know there is something important on the other side of the wall.

The greatest thing we can do is accept that we do not know everything, and even, that we know nothing at all. When we allow ourselves to do this, we open the door to a world of possibilities because there is so much to learn. Once we get passed the feeling-bad-about-being-wrong stage, we start learning and growing. Maybe it was about time we got that shove back down to Earth to make us realize that we still have lots to learn.

So let’s see if we can become more aware, realizing that others may well have a good point to bring forth. Let’s slow down with this building-up-a-wall-thing and see what we may learn. In fact, let’s put a door and a window in our wall to invite people in and start looking outside of this box. Perhaps we will find that our relationships with others will improve, that confrontation will diminish, and that stress will dissipate? Maybe we’ll even be a bit happier? Who knows.

Only by knowing where we stand can we move forward.

Dobranoc ;)

The Simplicity of Life

As human beings, we tend to complicate life. If we take a few moments to look around us and see what kind of world we have created for ourselves, it might be enough for us to want to make some changes… How do you want to live? How do you want to feel?

I want to live a peaceful and simple life. I want to be able to let go of fears and worries, for I know that they are often of my own making. I have complicated my life and I have been spending the last few years untangling my webs. It feels good. I feel light, free, loved, and inspired.

There are many books and workshops and websites aimed at teaching you how to simplify your life. I am sure that they are all filled with great advice. What we sometimes need however, is the will to go there, to look inside rather than at what everyone else is doing. We are the master of our own life and we can be happier living a much simplified life.

What worries you? Why do you feel anxious? Perhaps you need to say things that you have been keeping inside. Maybe you need to let go of certain ideas, or of the past, in order to embrace your life now. As my Teacher once said, “you have never lived this moment, this situation before: enjoy it”. Enjoy the moment, even if it is a painful one, as you may realize that it is not this moment you are longing for, but a moment in the past. Once you realize that the complexity of the situation you are living now is of your own making, you also have the power to stop it, to simplify your life.

And so, take a moment here to breathe. Accept that life may be sending you messages, things and situations you should now face. Understand that until you do so, these situations will always returned, disguised as something or someone new. It takes great courage to step up to the plate, to do what you have to do, but only you can. Choose to shed these layers of burden and dig down to find your power, your inner fire. Enjoy life, be happy. Namaste.

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