I just got back from a luncheon honoring the Dalai Lama. It was so cool! The event was sold out. It felt like the whole city of Cincinnati was in that Convention Center ballroom looking scrubbed and polished in the Dalai Lama’s honor. The energy in the room was electric. I assume we were all there for the same reason; hoping to breathe in a little bit of the hope and positiveness this man of peace exudes. The 14th Dalai Lama did not disappoint.
When he first stepped on stage, he let out a hearty laugh, which was reciprocated by the audience as he proceeded to put on a red sun visor that matched his red and gold robes. He said the lights on the stage were very bright and it was important he see the many faces in the crowd so he could truly connect with us… his hand touching his heart as he explained the addition to his attire.
Audience members has an opportunity to write questions for His Holiness. Many of the questions had a similar theme. In these anxious times in which we live, does he have any advice for turning things around? He smiled and gestered out to all of us in the audience. He told us to be” trustworthy, honest, and transparent… and hearts will come together”.
One question from a stressed father-husband-businessman, spoke to the busy lives we all lead. The man asked, “Does one have to become a monk to live mindfully?. More laughter. The Dalai Lama’s advice? Go to bed a little earlier and sacrifice a little of the “night clubbing”. (He goes to bed at 7:30pm and wakes at 3:30am.) Wake up and spend just 5 minutes observing your breath, he said …spend 5 minutes during your busy day focused on a single object and you will be well on your way to training your brain to be more mindful.
He ended the event with a comment about the 7 billion people on the earth today. He said in years to come that number will grow to 8 or 9 billion. His recommendation for “non-violent birth control”? “More monks and nuns.”
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was in Cincinnati to receive The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s International Freedom Conductor Award. “This award recognizes the contributions of contemporary individuals who, by their actions and personal examples, reflect the spirit and courageous actions of conductors on the historic Underground Railroad.”
I played hooky so I could go to this Wednesday luncheon. I’m so glad I did!
Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in emotional and binge eating issues. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, firstname.lastname@example.org