Monks At Radio City

Monks at Radio City

I was lucky enough to get to see the His Holiness the Dalai Lama again today for two of his final lectures in a series at Radio City Music Hall discussing Buddhist commentary on the Bodhicitta Bodhisattva’s way of life.  The Dalai Lama and Richard Gere both!   One whose bald head was (shockingly) partly covered by a thick maroon visor, the other whose head was (shockingly) totally covered by a thick shock of extremely white hair.

“What a good guy,” someone said as we walked up the aisle at the end of the last lecture.   (Meaning, I believe, the Dalai Lama, and not Richard Gere.)

Yes, a very good guy.   But what struck me as much as his goodness was his simple common sense; for all his idealism, for all of his adeptness at finding great benefit in the arduous and difficult, the Dalai Lama is a realist.  (“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” )

I had not, before this, focused on the pragmatic aspects of Buddhism–the fact that it doesn’t seem to push truths, so much as accept them..  Okay, I’m not so sure how well karma and reincarnation fit with that last sentence, but certainly the understanding of universal suffering and death, the illusory quality of perception, and the advocacy of altruism as a skillful means to happiness, are pretty clear-cut.  And the emphasis on investigation and acceptance leads to a great openness.  (At one point, His Holiness laughed at some of the astronomic views of Buddhist science, for example, and called them a “disgrace”, a “disaster”–no pushing fundamentalism on that front.)

Neither my eye sight nor my seat were good enough to sketch the Dalai Lama without reference to the camera screen, and the images moved quickly.  (Plus, I actively tried to watch him.)   So I include sketches above and below of various monks and nuns on the stage (all those shaved heads) , particularly those behind His Holiness’s translator.

(Note that the elephants in the very first sketch above are not intended to represent the infiltration of Hindu favorites so much as the infiltration of ManicDDaily favorites.

Have a nice night.

Have a nice night.

Explore posts in the same categories: elephants, Uncategorized, Vicissitudes of Life

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