There were a lot of people outside the church, long before the doors were opened.
After a month of sunshine, the weather had changed, bringing chill winds, clouds and rain -- but this morning was beautiful, blue and golden.
Not everyone had tickets to get into the church. The tickets were free but, with only 700 seats, they were rationed out and you had to send self-stamped envelope to the church in order to get one.
However, there were a lot of people outside, without tickets, who had come in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Dalai.
After those who had tickets were inside, those who had none were also allowed in. The church was packed, but no one was left outside -- well, almost no one!
There were some people who came only to protest, eyes a-squint, with bibles crooked under thier arms like machine guns, "Don't you know you are letting Pestilence into the Church!"
They were denied admission by the pastor of the church, himself. "I am in charge here, and you are not getting in!", he said. Ah, that was a prophetic moment!
Who attended? Priests, pastors, rabbis, ministers, politicians, christians, buddhists, self-proclaimed atheists, and plain common slobs like me.
What did the Dalai say?
That only through dialogue, love and mutual respect can we solve the problems the world faces today.
I enjoyed very much hearing was his chuckle at a press conference the day before when a reporter threw him a politically-loaded question: "That's an [he he] un-easy question [he he], so I'll have to give you an [he he] un-easy answer [he he] ...
I know all this because I saw it on television.
I stayed at home, partly because it is not my way to run after people, however high and holy they may be, and partly because I knew there would be room for so few people and I didn't want to keep anybody out who really really felt they had to be there physically.
This is how my meeting with the Dalai went: During the time of the church service, I meditated on a verse I had found the day before:
"The man without love has no knowledge of God. For God is love."
-- 1 John
I wrote it in my note book to help fix it in my feeble mind and after meditation, or contemplation, if you prefer, I wrote underneath:
And from where does love come?Still, I did feel a pang of regret when I heard they had let everybody into the church, that is everyone except those who held their bibles like machine guns!
Does it come from within,
-- or from above?
God is love and love is being aware
being-aware is love,
so where is God and where is the man without love?
Does it really matter from where love comes
-- or how?
-- it was always there!
On the other hand, I would have missed a missed lovely experience had I left home.
Shortly after the meeting, there was a brief hail storm in the village where I live, south of Copenhagen. For a few moments the ground was covered by a blanket of small, white pebbles. I [he he] laughed to see it -- partly because it was beautiful and partly because, if I had gone to Copenhagen, I would never had got home in time to see it [he he].