Sometimes, you’re just in the right place at the right time, angels smile down on you, a few pieces get moved around a chessboard, and you discover you are one of those pieces in this funny old world. And that’s when you find yourself sitting on an airplane, two rows behind His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
I can’t think of a person more appropriate to look up to as a leader for mindfulness and conscious living. One of the Dalai Lama’s often-repeated quotes, is “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness”.
With mindfulness being promoted, packaged and marketed everywhere, from sports stars to successful business exec stories; it’s easy to forget that the purpose of mindfulness is not self-serving. It may sound cheesy, but, “Mindfulness without Kindfulness” is limited and limiting.
If we use mindfulness primarily for personal gain (losing weight, higher profits, more success), then we’ve forgotten the third tenet of mindfulness:
- Cultivate focused attention
- Cultivate open awareness
- Cultivate kind intention
Through the practice of mindfulness we learn about our inherent beliefs and habits, place a pause between events and our reactions to them, and ultimately make choices for a healthier and more compassionate outcome, for us and for others.
Mindfulness teaches us how to truly live in the present—the only moment that really exists.
Building awareness through the practice of mindfulness opens the door to noticing life within us and around us. When we are really aware of, and appreciate, the present moment.
And for one of the most spectacular present moments I’ve experienced, here’s how my serendipitous Dalai Lama moment unfolded …