Buddhist Monk Meets Humble Servant?

Jack Has Many Friends
Jack Has Many Friends

Do you challenge yourself each and every day? To learn, to grow, to stretch?

So Wednesday I fly from Orlando to Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University, and site of the Leadership workshop I conducted on Thursday. But because the departing flight was so early, I waited until I unpacked at the hotel to go for a 30-minute run around campus.

Enter the Dalai Lama.

He was at Indiana University to speak. Outside the building, many visitors were mixing and mingling. Two TV cameras on tripods were taping “interviews”.

One Monk was sitting quietly on a bench, reading. Politely asking if I could speak with him, we engaged in a 15-minute conversation. He had just come from Nepal a week earlier. Our conversation was casual, easy, respectful.

Perhaps it was my accent, coupled with my ignorance – my depth of Buddhist understanding is quite shallow, so I asked, “What’s at the very center of Buddhism?”

It took several minutes to explain the question’s intent, including sharing, “At the center of my Christian beliefs is Jesus, Love.”

He thought for a brief moment and said, “Compassion.”

I exclaimed, “Like Love!”

Rigzin Monk, Indiana University, May 12
Rigzin Monk, Indiana University, May 12