"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito."
~ DALAI LAMA
the Dalai Lama said on either of these occasions, I clearly remember my impression of him.
I am inclined to describe him as "simple." Not simple in the sense that we usually think of that term when describing someone because, obviously, he is very intelligent and highly educated. But rather "simple" as in uncomplicated—a clear and non-conflicted person. He naturally puts those around him at ease because he is at peace within himself. He calmly exudes joy and happiness, those two coveted qualities that some search for an entire lifetime.
In his presence, I could not help but think of Gautama Buddha's teaching of emptiness--being void of the human ego, or the illusory self, that obstructs the flow of the divine reality through the human vessel. It is from this clear and unobstructed platform that the Dalai Lama shares his wisdom and the teachings of the Buddhas.
Two other things stood out to me that day in Indiana. The late prize-fighter, Muhammad Ali, was also a guest who attended the ceremony to show support for the temple's mission of promoting world peace and for the people of Tibet. It was his first time to meet the Dalai Lama. He sat next to the Dalai Lama while he spoke, giving full support to his causes.
Most people are aware that Ali developed Parkinson's disease after he retired from boxing. There he sat, hands and body shaking, looking frail and weak, barely able to express himself, and quite a contrast to his demeanor at the height of his career.
What was particularly memorable about this scene? Here was a man who was nicknamed "The Greatest" during his spectacular career. He also had a strong momentum on flaunting his physical prowess and good looks. At the time, many viewed him as vain and narcissistic. Nevertheless, there he sat in his humbled state, not hiding from public view as many celebrities are inclined to do once their famous and powerful persona ceases to exist. Rather, he was publicly promoting the humanitarian causes to which he had dedicated himself both before and after his illness.
Whatever you may or may not think of Muhammad Ali, that day I witnessed a compassionate and loving man who did not shrink from his heart's calling because his physical body no longer reflected the worldly image of success and power. It was a touching moment for the small, intimate group who attended.
Following the ceremony, which took place under a canvas canopy in a small, unpretentious outdoor setting full of lush greenery and beautiful flowers, I meandered over to the book tables where all of the Dalai Lama's books, and other authors’ books, were tastefully displayed. As I leafed through several of them, one in particular caught my eye. It was Buddhism for Beginners by Thubten Chodron.
Chodron has authored at least ten books and is the founder and Abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastery near Newport, Washington. She states that she wrote Buddhism for Beginners because she wanted to answer the questions that people new to Buddhism, or exploring Buddhism, would ask.
I leafed through the pages, reading sections and imagining how I would write a book on important spiritual topics that I have studied for years. Her format was primarily questions and answers, which was easy to follow. As I placed the book back on the table, just at the moment of contact, I received an instant flash of a message to my mind that I, too, was to write a book.
Yes, a short, terse message without any detail, but that’s how it comes sometimes. Then it is up to me to meditate and draw down from my own higher mind and God-Presence as to how the project will be fulfilled.
I knew this message meant I should write a book that brings to the fore the ‘I AM’ teachings that have been brought forth in the last hundred-plus years from the ascended masters through their various amanuenses and messengers.
I have been exploring the amazing world within and studying and practicing these teachings that have transformed my life and many other lives for over 45 years.
The Masters’ teachings encompass the Truths from the major world religions, which at their heart converge in many ways, and are also being corroborated by quantum physics’ understanding of how the universe works.
However, these teachings have been ignored or marginalized by an ever-secular world and by most of the organized religions. They seem to believe God no longer reveals the greater mysteries to which Jesus referred when he said the Holy Spirit will teach us all things.
The perspective these teachings bring regarding the purpose of life are so needed in our world right now—one that is dynamically changing. We live in a world where things seem upside down at times and many have lost their spiritual and moral moorings.
In general, people have lost sight of their true identities as sons and daughters of God and the power they actually have within them to create change for themselves, to fulfill their reason for being, and to create a better world. After all, we were given dominion over the earth, which begins with our own personal self-mastery.
How we traverse this cycle will dictate whether our civilization collapses or accelerates to higher spiritual levels.
It was a beautiful fall Friday in 2003 when the phone rang and a friend called and invited me to go with her to see the Dalai Lama on Sunday in Bloomington, Indiana. His visit was specifically to dedicate the Tibetan Cultural Center at Indiana University where his eldest brother, the late Takster Rinpoche, was a professor of Tibetan studies. My friend had two tickets and the person who was scheduled to go with her was not able to make the two-hour trip. I accepted her gracious invitation and looked forward to seeing the Dalai Lama again.
I say “again,” because this was not the first time that I had met the Dalai Lama. In the 1970s while living in Los Angeles, my husband and I were asked to attend the Dalai Lama's presentation and to meet him personally on behalf of our employer who had been invited but was unable to attend. While I do not remember the specifics of what