The Dalai Lama with his mother, Diki Tsering.
On this day of celebration of all the beautiful Mothers in the world, the team at Original World wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday with loved ones. For over a decade we have offered cultural immersion tours to some of the most spiritual places on the planet. In 2000, Original World led a tour to the Kalachakra Initiation with the Dalai Lama in Ladahk, India. Every since, the teachings and inspiration offered by His Holiness have had a tremendous impact on our business and our outlook on life.
In this article (originally published in the Utne Reader in 2011) author Margaret Aldridge points out that even with an impressive entourage of Tibetan monks, a Nobel Peace Prize, and the respect of millions around the world, it’s essential to remember that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was once just a kid at his mother’s side.
But in his address “Peace through Inner Peace” —which happened to coincide with Mother’s Day—he fondly invoked her memory. His Holiness shared stories of riding on his mother’s shoulders and mischievously “steering” by tugging her hair to the right or left, pouting if she didn’t obey.
He also gave her credit for shaping his compassionate nature. “My warm-heartedness originally came from my mother,” he said, an easy grin bringing the thousands of attendees in close. His Holiness went on to speculate that those who receive maximum affection from their mothers as children have much greater inner peace in their adult lives. (If it was Father’s Day, I like to think he would have included Dads, too).
According the Dalai Lama’s website, he was just two years old when he was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, partly because he was able to identify the personal belongings of the previous Dalai Lama, exclaiming “It’s mine! It’s mine!” when presented with each. He began his monastic education and study of revelatory inner peace at the age of six.
In his Mother’s Day speech, the Dalai Lama taught listeners that respect, compassion, and nonviolence are key starting points for achieving peace. “Mentally, physically, emotionally, we are the same,” he said, no matter your religious background. He also advised that we should focus on secularism when discussing moral issues. “Secular doesn’t mean disrespect for religion,” he explained, “but respect for all religions—including non-believers.”
His Holiness took a few questions after his talk, and one came from a nine-year-old who asked, “If you could completely solve one problem, what would it be?” The Dalai Lama, with his amused, trademark chuckle, had a simple answer: “I don’t know.” What he knew without a doubt was that solving the world’s problems and achieving peace requires the cooperation of us all.
As for the mothers the Dalai Lama acknowledged, we can strive to embrace compassion and teach the warm-heartedness that might make our own kids pick up the quest for peace.
To read more from the Dalai Lama’s “Peace Through Inner Peace” speech, click here.
EDITORS NOTE: Original World offers a once-in-a-lifetime cultural immersion tour to Ladahk, India for the Kalachakra in July, 2014. This year’s tour will also take attendees to the Hemis Festival at the Hemis Monastery. The tour dates are July 4-19, 2014.