Wednesday, 27 April 2016

V is for Visiting the Dalai Lama

Let me explain:
Vexed with vendors-- garden suppliers and curtain guys, 
I surrender 
my 'V' 
to an older post of mine. 
I hope you won't mind. 
It's a beautiful journey back in time.
And he is the Dalai Lama.
Come along for a visit.

I met him in May, last year.
But it feels like yesterday.

Seven days later-
and I can still feel the way his hand felt when I touched it-
soft, soft, soft.

Seven days later-
and his dark eyes are still peeping into my soul-
clear, mystical, simple.

Seven days later-
and I can still see his soft drooping cheeks commanding his lips to utter,
'Come again.' to us.

'Come again' echoes deep inside me.
Why did he say that?
Come again to Whom? for What? Why?

The white scarves you see us all wearing in the photo
were bought in a rush
after we spotted other visitors carrying them.

A kind gentleman helped us to carefully fold the scarf into a neat concertina.

The lady security guard
at the metal detector,
had other ideas.
With one swift movement of her experienced hands,
she unfurled my neatly folded scarf
and smiled warmly.

Even before we lined up to see His Holiness,
the lessons of life had begun.
Neatly laid plans
while we look on.

It's time to 
the light,
the love
and to let go

Easy said than done.

Standing in line
waiting for my turn
soaking the red, pink and white geraniums planted in cans painted in green
following the butterflies dancing on delphiniums
noticing the bulging biceps of the good looking security personnel caressing his automatic weapon
feeling odd
witnessing this duality-
mean looking guns protecting His Holiness
a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Standing in line
waiting for my turn
carrying my rucksack of expectations
wishing I'd worn a brighter colour or at least some lipstick
to look good in the photo
envying the pretty white dress worn by a Japanese visitor
the lady behind me dressed in Tibetan robes
feeling inadequate
in yoga pants and an old top.

Maybe it's time to unfurl myself
and let go of the ego
that fogs the light of my spirit.

The murmur of voices
and the rustle of bodies
announces his arrival.

I automatically stand on tiptoe to see.

Bodies bow.
Hands fold.
His voice rings out clearly.
I catch snippets of conversations
he has with the other visitors.

I am last in line.
It is time.
'Pick me, Pick me'.
my ego screams silently.
'Tell me I am special.'
'Hold my hand and make me stand out.'
'Tell me you can see how good my soul is.'
You see
I am last in line-
the furthest away from you.

'Can I touch your hand?'
I ask
as we are about to leave
after the
photos have been clicked.
He holds his hand out to me.
I touch.
Three fingers of mine hook into his soft palm.
I've come home.

Seven days later-
he is still with me.

'Come again'
'Come home.'

Come home-
to unfurl
to let go
to open your heart
and wipe the foggy window pane clean-
and unfurls
the darkness

I promise you 
I had no clue
almost a year ago
I had talked about unfurling.
Either I'm a slow learner (highly likely)
or this unfurling business will take time.
I have to thank a very important 'V' in my life: 
drum roll please...
for making it possible.
And my dear facebook friend Sunila for suggesting that I share this experience during the 
A to Z Challenge.

I was determined to only post new stuff, but I've been out all day getting things sorted for the imminent house move, and the midnight deadline is looming, so I surrender, happily:)


  1. Mesmerising! Visited every moment through your eyes and soul. Wonderful vision. God bless and keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you Manu. Blessings are always welcome:)

  2. Arti, this is AMAZING! I am just stunned that you met the Dalai Lama, this post gave me the chills!

    1. Thinking about it gives me the chills too Shelly. It was so unplanned and yet it all happened as if it was our destiny that day to see him. His hands and his eyes are something out of this world.

    2. The visit was unplanned! Wow now I have chills on chills! This is amazing! I am not into Buddhism (raised Roman Catholic) but meeting the head of any recognized religion would be amazing! What a great picture! He's a much loved holy man, even if it isn't your own religion you have to admire that. I can't help but think you must have great things ahead of you!

    3. I'm more of a humanist who likes to believe that great teachers and evolved souls make it easier to see what's good and what's not. I love reading about religions, but following one is not for me.

  3. A beautiful piece on a beautiful person. The Dalai Lama is my spiritual hero, yet a humble human being filled with grace and good humour. Thank you Arti for taking us to the plains of Tibet through your eyes! Be Blessed always ... Fat Radio Man, aka Raj

    1. Hey Raj. Good to see you back here:) You've missed a few letters...the weekend is almost here, so you can catch up;)
      We went on this women only trek in Himachal and met him at the temple in Mcleodgunj. He is so much more than what words can say. I was 15 when I met and shook hands with Mother Teresa (she had come to our school). He felt almost like she did. You know that old saying, a tree full of fruit droops low..that's the sweetness of humility one feels oozing from such great souls.

  4. What an honor it must have been to meet The Dalai Lama. This is really a great post. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    #AtoZChallenge W is for Wilson Phillips

    1. It was Mary. And it happened unexpectedly. Thank you for stopping by:)

  5. One big tight hug to you Arti! I met him in April last year. :) I am sitting on the fence over which letter to pick, talk about my meeting with him. What an amazing experience it was! Sending you lots of love! (I am way behind the A to Z Challenge, thanks to travel, but not stressing over it. :))

    1. Tight hug received and relished:)
      I like your stress-less attitude. It's important to keep things in perspective, right?
      I'd love to read your account of the visit...Z for Zen???

  6. This is a beautiful post. What a lovely picture of so many truly beautiful women with the Holy Dalai Lama. My heart and soul are touched just to think of what those moments must have been like for you...

    1. Those moments were magic Danette and the effect hasn't worn off. Feel so lucky and so blessed. It's good to see you here:)

  7. Beautiful post! And what an amazing experience! :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary

    1. It certainly was Zalka. Thank you for the visit.

  8. Oh wow. You got to meet him?!? That's amazing.

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

    1. Amazing is one of the many words I'd use to describe the feeling:)

  9. Cherished this post like the first happy for you to that you met Dalai Lama!

    1. Thanks Seema. hugs and lots of love to you. xx


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