The Dalai Lama has “big jokes”, the best sense of humor of anyone I know of. He carries the hopes of many on his shoulders, his work is unceasing, yet he laughs freely as a child. The Dalai Lama has and offers us the gift of sacred laughter which buffers doses of profound insight. His Holiness The Dalai Lama had a bucolic childhood in a rural land outside of Tibet; a remarkable difference from his adulthood in exile from his Holy Land. His trials and tribulations would have crushed the resolve of many “religious leaders” and ordinary people who maintain no daily spiritual and physical practice. But a lifetime as a spiritual leader, the figurehead of Tibetan Buddhism, has allowed him the time and opportunity to cultivate daily spiritual, emotional and physical practices that maintain his personal power at peak levels.
This short 2-minute video is of a funny story that His Holiness recounts of himself as a young child; in fact, the youngest child of his parents, indulged by his “warm-hearted” mother, as he describes her. The image he paints is hilarious, him riding his mother’s shoulders and directing her by the ears like a donkey, yet his story is telling. She indulged his playful side before she knew just how truly Special he was. Her kindness toward him , he says, modeled the warm-heartedness that he has today.
Not everyone has a warm-hearted mother or a warm relationship with their mother, however Mothers with all their blessed imperfections still teach us how to be and how not to be. Those lessons can be acknowledged and appreciated regardless of how the messages are delivered. From my mother, I learned that I must trust myself to actualize my dreams; I learned that even those who love me don’t know what is best for me as well as I do, and I learned that “family” is an honorific, not a given. And as a bonus, from the other nurturing women in my life, I learned the art and practice of Sacred Laughter and appreciation for the absurd, for it is through laughter that all pain turns into medicine.
So, I ask you, what have you learned from your Mother?