Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Great Escape

The weekend is an excellent time for soulful conversation or reflection. But, when today's lifestyle is spent mainly on computers or smartphones, there's little time for a natural and more profound retreat about the things that matter; our life's soulful journey and the quest for meaning. I may be guilty of binge-watching Netflix series or movies, but hey! It's Sunday, just a moment of relaxation and appreciation of visual arts. 

After all, we got to enjoy and get a moral lesson from the striking lines of the actors. Sometimes, the simple and short movie lines strike us from the inside, leaving us in tears. It brings back beautiful memories of a recent or distant past; we couldn't get over it quickly.

What's with The Dalai Lama that I got so interested in watching a movie about his great escape? It was back in 2011 that I started to know more about him and how significant and influential he is to India and the rest of the world. The Dalai Lama may be a Tibetan by blood, but he has become a world-renowned spiritual leader through the years. Then in India, I started reading his books about love, peace, and compassion — genuinely captivating to the soul. Perhaps, many people still do not know him, but his message of love and compassion is similar to that of The Pope. I am a Christian, but love is a universal language that unites humanity and the world. Same as with compassion, on which we have evolved as human beings. When we love someone, it's not about the similarities that we are looking into. We love someone regardless of race, creed, or beliefs. 

The Dalai Lama's great escape was his sacrifice to save Tibet and its people. It was in 1959 when he sought asylum in India to escape Chinese persecution. He feared for his life and the fate of the Tibetans if they chose to stay under Chinese rule. His escape didn't mean cowardice, but he was thinking about the future of the Tibetans. Almost 6 decades have passed, and The Dalai Lama is still strong and remains a highly influential political and spiritual figure. He is the greatest gift to India and is visited by thousands of people globally in his hometown in Dharamsala, the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. People who are into spiritual practice would love to see and hear from his lectures and stories that are practical in today's time. 

I was fortunate to have seen him personally in Dharamsala back in 2013. Meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala was one of my most incredible experiences. To have met him is a spiritual bliss that I will always cherish. His philosophy is beyond Buddhism's teachings, and that was when I saw Buddhism from a different perspective. It is simply universal teaching about love, peace, and compassion that is relevant in our time. 

The Dalai Lama's great escape led to a movement calling for a "Free Tibet" even after decades of settlement in India. The Tibetan Government-in-exile is very much active in its quest for freedom. To be an independent state concerning their culture and spirituality. How could his great escape be relevant in our time? As I watched the movie, I could imagine his suffering, but that is due to his undying love for his people. The Dalai Lama left Tibet without expensive and luxurious possessions. He just had enough to survive the long days of wandering until he reached the spiritual land of the free. 

Sometimes we have to make the greatest sacrifice for our loved ones. We have to go independently by leaving them behind. However, no matter how long we haven't seen them, they are still in our hearts. Our love has evolved so that it is not only about serving them but serving others with love and compassion. The great escape is about leaving our fears, hatred, and other negative emotions that are toxins in our being. Today, people may fear the unknown, becoming hateful and full of revenge and wicked thoughts. We should have aligned ourselves back to our nature of being good. 

We have seen countries go against each other, world leaders fighting each other, and citizens against their governments. We have not ended centuries-old conflicts and wars resulting in poverty and suppression. When shall we become free again? Free from abuses, maltreatment, and slavery? When shall we end physical and emotional suffering and killing? We may never know what the future holds, but one thing that can free us from pain and suffering is when we learn to plan for our great escape. Like the Dalai Lama, he made a wise decision and acted bravely to face his fears, deal with the unknown and free his heart from hatred. The Dalai Lama's spiritual journey teaches us why love and compassion can free us all from modern-day suffering. We can live not by having more but by having what is truly important and meaningful. 

Back to reality, that was another quality Netflix time. With a cup of coffee and relaxing meditation music, I can have a good night's sleep and start the working week full of positivity. No matter how tough our world has become, we still have to free our inner world not to defeat our life's purpose our quest for life and meaning. 

© 2018 Del Cusay