Well just got back from my the last teaching session by the Dalai Lama at Radio City and I have to say it was amazing. I didnt get to see all 5 sessions but did go yesterday to the afternoon one.
Yesterdays session was very intensive in analyzing the 70 verses on Sunyata. As a matter of fact we spent so much time on the first 20 or so we ran out of time. To be honest it was very hard to follow for the un-indoctrinated but to be there and see a packed hall hanging on His Holiness’s every word was awe inspiring. At the end of the session he cracked a joke or two said a prayer and was off.
Today’s session was equally as inspiring and thankfully, a lot easier to follow and understand. He started by taking questions and at one point was very delighted that he had been asked on how we could take his teachings out into the streets and into our every day lives. He said he had been meaning to do this and now he felt right to do so. Apparently it is a buddhist tradition to only teach things that have been asked about. Since we had asked he felt ok instructing us on that topic (he got a good laugh out of this one)
After his Q&A he then went on to finish reading the Stone Cutter Sutra which I guess he had started at a previous session. This was really amazing. With little or no interpretation he just read in his native Tibetan language. At times his voice seemed to hit surreal notes and his pace was amazing. The entire place was following the story even though a good portion of us did not speak the language.
He then went on and finished up the 70 verses with larger generalizations and explanations of groups of verses as opposed to diving too deep on any particular one. It was much easier for me to understand and we quickly ran through the last 50 (number 70 really pulled it together :-)).
Then to end it off he gave personal advice on how to live and take his teachings with you in everyday life. This for me was the best part. It gave a really interesting glimpse into buddhism and the degrees to which you can adopt some of its tenets to make your life that much better. He stressed that quite heavily actually that the religion did not matter as much as the commitment to serving others and doing no harm.
After the teachings were officially over there were several prayers and then Richard Gere gave a speech which amongst other things mentioned that he has agreed to return to NY in 3 years for 10 days of teachings. That would be quite an experience to be sure.
Not sure what to take away from it all but I have to say it was quite a moving experience. Much of what he spoke of really rings true and can actually be applied to everyday life. If you get a chance to see him dont hesitate. He is truly larger than life and a man of true spirituality.