Remember? It was back in June. You can read all about it here:
Still thaumaturgic. Still a magical never-to-be-forgotten day. Still healing.
The rest of the story of that day goes like this…
In my thoughts and preparations prior to that amazing experience, I thought it would be an appropriate act of kindness to bring the Dalai Lama a gift.
But what is the right and perfect giftslashoffering for a once-in-a-lifetime meeting with one of the most special humans on this planet?
What do you think?
Flowers? Nope. A gift certificate to Dave & Busters? Nope. An engraved pen and pencil set? Nope again. Money? Maybe, but I don’t have any to spare, so nope.
Guess. No, come on. GUESS!
Only my DIL got it right when I asked, “well, what do you THINK I would give him?”
OK, silly as it may sound to you, I beautifully wrapped a few of my most special seashells and a rock that looks like a whale and placed them in a brightly colored cotton gift bag. I know it might seem childish to you, but I never really grew up, so it’s in keeping with my mental/emotional age.
When I thought about what evokes enduring purity and beauty, there is nothing more meaningful to me than seashells and rocks. (Diamonds fit into that category too, but that’s another story.)
Y’all have already seen my seashell encrusted home, right?
Before the Dalai Lama and Ann Curry appeared on stage, I struck up a conversation with one of his emissaries/bodyguards, and told them I had a gift I hoped to present to His Holiness. They pointed out the person I should hand it to and suggested I do it right after the interview.
However, because His Holiness spent so much time answering my question and talking to me, he exceeded the time set aside for the interview and was late getting to the open air stage at Rimac Field where 25,000 people were waiting in the heat for us to finish our conversation…
Ann Curry whisked away the Dalai Lama and there was no time to offer my little gifts to His Holiness.
However, that setback didn’t deter me…
Since I’m such a great
snoop investigative journalist, I somehow discovered where His Holiness and entourage were staying, drove there, and left my treasures with the concierge at the front desk. I included a hastily written note to thank the Dalai Lama for speaking with me for such a long time and how much I appreciated his wisdom–along with my name, address, email, and phone number.
I drove home, trying to process the intensity of that surreal and amazing experience, and thought no more about it.
Even though I personally treasure every seashell and rock (truth), I didn’t seriously think that they would actually make the journey to be received –or acknowledged–by His Holiness–I don’t have a grandiose sense of my own importance in this world.
A couple weeks later on a Saturday afternoon, my cell phone rang with an unknown number from Florida. Normally, I don’t answer a number I don’t know-there are all those annoying telemarketing calls, but this time I pressed the accept button and said hello.
Imagine my surprise when a heavily accented voice asked for me (not Princess Rosebud lol, but my other name). The voice introduced himself as the Personal Emissary for Peace to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. OH EM EFFF GEEEE!
Acting on behalf of His Holiness, the emissary was calling to thank me for my gifts and told me how much they were appreciated.
To describe my reaction succinctly. I was literally gobsmacked, And rendered pretty much speechless, which is a rare occurance.
One of the world’s most spiritual humans took the time to express GRATITUDE to me; an absolute nobody.
That’s the ultimate amazing ending to one of the most significant experiences of my entire life.
What’s the message? What’s the lesson?
Gratitude and appreciation. If someone like the Dalai Lama can take the time and effort to acknowledge a handful of seashells and rocks, we all need to follow his example and this world will be a better place for us, our children, and grandchildren.
No, thank YOU, Your Holiness.
You restored my faith in humankind.
Namaste for reals.