Happy Birthday your Holiness. My birthday wishes to the Dalai Lama.

Years ago when I was searching for a path I picked up a small book on Buddhism and remember thinking ‘wow, I’ve always thought this’ & ‘this makes perfect sense’. From there I started reading your books, which further deepened my interest in the Dharma. Then I found out you would be giving a public talk soon, but it was sold out by the time I had found out. Well, I drove up to UCLA anyways. When I arrived, I happened to find a man outside selling a single ticket at face value. An auspicious sign if I may say so.


When I tell friends of this day, the only way I know how to express it was that I could literally ‘feel’ you walk into the room. And even though I was way up in the back of the audience, it was as if you and I were alone and you were speaking directly to me. This changed my life. I went home that evening, shaved my head, and knew I was to set foot on the Buddhist path.

Soon after, I took refuge and accepted the 5 Precepts under Venerable Master Hsing Yun of the Fo Guang Shan order. There is a wonderful picture of you and my Master in one of the offices at Hsi Lai Temple that I enjoy seeing any chance I get.

I have been fortunate enough to have found my way to the Dharma, and am thankful to you for being a big part of that.

May the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in all directions continue to shine their light upon you.

…joining palms, bowing head to floor.


HHDL — Day 3

Well, yesterday was the final day of teachings, along with the initiation ceremony. It was amazing. Overall, I feel this deepened my Bodhisattva vows. A deeper commitment to the path of Awakening Mind. Something has already changed. Through right effort, right thought, I will continue on the path.

It was interesting, I’ve noticed my change already…. So I walked out yesterday for lunch break and heard yelling in front of the building. Come to see it, there were three men across the street holding up signs about how we should all read the bible and we’re going to hell. Before, I would have laughed at them,, and now I didn’t so much do that; I felt that they must be suffering with all that hate inside, to go out and just stand there to yell at people who they perceived as different from them. Hopefully they find peace in their minds.

The initiation and transmission was incredible. I can’t describe it here in words.

Afterwards, I was walking downstairs and just browsed into the bottom level of the auditorium. His Holiness was of course gone already, but the monastics were taking down the stage and giving out the flowers from each of the massive vessels on stage. I was fortunate enough to receive a yellow rose, and also bits of rice from the ceremony.

Today, Dawn took ‘the day off’. We all went to lunch with Matt, then she left to go see a movie, while he, Matt, and I went to the Apple store. Nice new iPods. The green one is especially nice looking. Then, Matt left so little man and I rode the ‘Giant Wheel’ at the Spectrum. He loved it, so of course I did as well. After that we came home so he could nap. Then, this evening we went and got him a fish for the tank he got for his birthday last Saturday. He got a red beta today. Ask him what the fish’s name is and his reply is: ‘his name’s fish’. so adorable.

HHDL — Day 2

Today was yet another amazing day with His Holiness. This mornings teaching session was even quite intense. With each session though, I can honestly say I see changes in my own mind. My own way of thinking. (mind/own in the conventional sense of course 😉 )

Bringing up mind and self; this is the essence of the teachings. The realization of no self — emptiness. Nagajuna’s commentary was written precisely for this; a deeper understanding.
The heart of Buddha’s teaching is really the combination, union, of compassion and understanding of emptiness.
The path that gets you there must be a form of this.
Method = cultivation of merit and collection of wisdom.
Great compassion is what makes the Buddha all that is good.
Highest level of conventional truth = compassion.
Ultimate truth — wisdom collection — — perfect view.
Truth about embodiment of truth and form
Through this one travels toward the attainment of Buddhahood.

Then we are on to the public talk over at Universal’s Gibson Amphitheater. The title of His Holiness’ talk was ‘Compassion — the source of happiness.’ My friend Fardous was going to meet me there, but was unable to due to family emergency. Quite unfortunate; I was happy that she would be able to see him. We can hope she’ll be able to next time.

Two things His Holiness said that really stuck in my mind today were:
This century should be the century of dialogue.
His real guru who taught him compassion was his mother.


to be continued…

HHDL — Day 1

Well, I’m off to day one of the teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is extremely exciting for me.

I’ve had the good fortune of seeing him speak once before, but never a big teaching like this. Actually, it was May 26th 2001 that I saw him; really, that was the day I knew I was to be a Buddhist. There really are no words for that day. The best way to describe it is that you literally feel him walk in the room. No other words for it that I can think of.

I’ll try to write later this evening about the day…

Om Mani Padme Hum

— added —

Day 1. Part 1.
9:30AM to 11:30AM

First, I arrived a few minutes late. Let me say, this was in no way intentional. I left the house this morning at 7:00 AM, therefore giving myself 2 1/2 hours to get there. My thinking was that this was even on the ridiculous side, but better safe than sorry.

Wrong! Wow, traffic is quite horrid at that time. I mean, I always knew it was bad, but that bad???

Anyhoo. On to the important part of the day. The stage setup was amazing. I wish I could show you, but picture taking was prohibited. I do have a picture of the outside of the building with a Tibetan flag, which I will have to share. His Holiness was on a platform with many Monastics of different traditions sharing the stage in front of him. The way he started out the teachings was ideal; perfect. After his introduction, he stated that since the Buddha taught in Pali, it would be beneficial to begin with a chant in Pali. One of the monastics was given a mic and blessed us with a very wonderful chant. Then, in His Holiness’ wisdom, he requested the Chinese give a chant, followed by a Vietnamese chant, followed by a Korean chant, (then requested a Japanese chant, but unfortunately no one could oblige), then finally a Tibetan chant who he himself lead. Truly a miraculous way to begin the set of teachings.

These teachings are to begin with a re-taking of the refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha to be in the correct mind-state to learn.

to be continued…