Spiritual awakening is about the universalization of love and compassion. Instead of our love and concern being focused on just a few people, we discover we have the innate capacity to express a deep, abiding, and active desire for the well-being of all.
Sometimes people are disturbed by the idea that they might eventually love everyone equally. If a person is attached to the concept of romantic love or to a belief that the nuclear family is the pinnacle of the expression of human love, they can feel threatened by the very idea of universal love.
These same people may enjoy it when they see universal love being expressed by someone such as the Dalai Lama. Universal love is okay for the Dalai Lama, but I don’t want that for myself, they think. It is too scary to imagine not having this exclusive, intense love for my family that gives my life shape and meaning and a feeling of importance.
I woke up this morning giggling. What if instead of teaching about the universalization of love, we tell the story in reverse? What if the Dalai Lama got married?
The Story of the Dalai Lama’s Marriage
One day, the Dalai Lama fell in love. Nobody knew about it at first because his Holiness suddenly stopped appearing in public. He missed two weeks of meetings with people from all over the world. He missed giving his annual teaching in Bodhgaya. He didn’t answer his cell phone. His voicemail message just said, “Finally, I met the One.”
HHDL’s aides and close students thought “the One” must mean that their teacher had reached some higher stage of enlightenment. They couldn’t wait to benefit from seeing him again. They all started practicing harder, doing millions of mantras in order to ready themselves.
After two weeks of silence, odd pictures began appearing on His Holiness’ Facebook page. He seemed to be in a hotel room somewhere in the tropics with . . . a woman!
HHDL and his woman companion shared pictures of themselves lounging, eating, and gazing at each other. They shared pictures of their four feet at the foot of a large bed. They shared selfies of themselves taking selfies in the hotel mirror. Every picture caption was followed by a lot of exclamation marks.
Eventually, HHDL and his companion announced their impending marriage on mywedding.com.
When HHDL finally made a public appearance, he looked dreamy and a bit tired. Here is a transcript of His Holiness’ message to all of us.
The Last Public Message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Greetings to my friends and students from around the world and all sentient beings.
I am so pleased to announce that I have finally met the One. For years you have been telling me that the highest form of human love is the love one feels for a spouse and one’s own children. But I was blinded by the cult of universal love. Generation after generation of my teachers taught that to love all equally is where enlightenment is at. I have to admit, I bought into it. I even convinced myself that you are all equally loveable and valuable.
Although I feel a bit embarrassed, I don’t blame myself. I have been indoctrinated into this cult of universal love and compassion since I was a very small child. It’s all I heard about: Love everyone. Serve everyone. Blah. Blah. Blah. I was never given a chance to get out of that bubble of all of reality and date!
But now I have seen the lights glowing in the windows of my new single-family ranch house. It’s at the end of a cul-de-sac, and there is easy parking. I invite everyone I like (and I’ll be drawing up an exclusive list soon), to come visit us when we begin having children.
Yes, you will have to spend your money and time visiting me now. Because I have a nuclear family, I will always be busier than you and more important in general. I’ve heard it’s one of the perks. Score!
Please, please keep up with us on Facebook and other social media. We want lots of likes. Please like us because . . . we are cute!! We’ll be getting pets soon to round out the cast of our family Instagram. Like us. Subscribe. To us. I’ve spent more than 80 years liking all of you. You owe me.
Since I am, after all, HHDL, our family story will go viral. I am really so humbled by all of your interest in my family. Modestly humbled. And grateful for all the attention you are and will be showering on us.
To those millions upon millions of beings I formerly loved as much as everyone else—wake up!! Find the few people you love most and hunker down!!
Finally, I offer heartfelt thanks to all the people in the world who helped reveal to me the pinnacle of human life. You are my true Gurus. Those other teachers I had were just manipulating me all along, and I didn’t see it.
Dodged a bullet there.
Love, Mr. and Mrs. HHDL and future kids and pets, too
This is just to demonstrate that what we are inspired by in our teachers is their great love. Anandamayi Ma once said that if she did not feel equally for all people, it would “ruin everything.” In other words, she would not be as effective a teacher and exemplar.
Indian spiritual traditions honor every phase of human life, including family life. Yet even while participating in family life, we should remember that our final destination is to realize that our essence is the same as the most enlightened beings. We, too, have the innate capacity for universal love. We may not discover it soon, and that is fine. But when we do, it will feel natural and joyous, not scary at all. And as Ma taught, when we remember this, family life can also be a stage for the effortless expression of primordial wisdom and clarity.
Lots of Love,