His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, has had a huge influence on me from the time I unconsciously embarked on my ‘journey’. Don’t get me wrong – I have faith in my religion, but to me he’s probably the most incredible spiritual leader of our time. A simple Buddhist monk that showcases non-violence in the face of aggression, suppression and anger. A symbolism of peace. I devoured and read his books during that period of confusion – he simply made more sense to me than anything else during that period of confusion. From an early age, he’s been through intense hardships, lost so much, and yet he continues to smile and talk about peace – even today. His humbleness comes through, his kindness and compassion radiates through his books. They are written so simply, and the more you read the more you realize – surely this is common sense – I should know this!
In one of his books, I stumbled over a Tibetan Buddhist mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum‘ that I started using to meditate. The first few times I sat down and tried to meditate, the thoughts wouldn’t leave me. And the more I tried to block them, the more they came. Like a dam trying to burst. My cousin said “let them come, just keep concentrating on your breathing. At some point, you will start seeing the thoughts as an outsider, and will be able to quieten your mind.” And he was right. The thoughts came like a tsunami! Boom! It stunned and shook me. At some point, I could analyze my entire day as an outsider, see what I did right and where did I mess up. If I did do something wrong, I knew the next day I had to apologize. Soon my mind started quietening down. For the first time, peace started entering my mind, and I started sleeping again like a little baby. But it does take time, practice, and letting go. Oh yeah – most importantly – learning to forgive 🙂 yourself and others.