Last week I had the distinct pleasure of hearing Pico Iyer interviewed by journalist Scott London about his recent book, On The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Pico Iyer is not only an eloquent writer, but also an eloquent interviewee. Since 1974, when Pico was seventeen years old, he was lucky to be in close communication with The Dalai Lama who was a personal friend of Pico’s father. Pico deftly called the Dalai Lama, “A global village on two legs.” He said that no matter what The Dalai Lama was wearing and no matter where he was, the best way to describe him was as an individual with a huge amount of integrity. He stressed that being in close proximity with him was stimulating and the mental equivalent of being in the gym. “He is a doctor of the mind,” says Pico.
Pico discussed The Dalai Lama’s exile from his home, Tibet, and his life-long struggles with the situation. He briefly discussed the basic tenets of Buddhism and how all blessings come from doing good onto others. Although I am an amateur student of Buddhism, I am fascinated by the power of this tenet. No matter what religion you practice, this is true, in that all that you do for others comes back to you at least two-fold. This goes hand in hand with another Buddhist belief is how you die is a reflection on how you have lived your life. It has also been said that people age like they live. Look around you at any older person and you will notice that they have not changed since their younger years. If they were industrious and busy, they will continue to be so. If they sat around watching television, chances are they will continue to do that in their golden years.
Pico spoke about the Dalai Lama’s energy and how everyone wants to “bathe in his charisma,” and I noticed this during his visit to UCSB earlier this year (see blog below). Certainly his energy spreads wide. In summary, Scott London did a terrific job, allowing Pico to hold his own, but asking very salient questions…doing everything a journalist should do.
A good journaling prompt is to write about what good things you have done for others this past week.