His Holiness is a wise, wise man; he may be right– the Western Woman may be the face of destiny– of this planet and of its tomorrows. He himself has something that can’t be seen but is felt– an energy, or an aura, a Presence or something that because he is a religious man, is greater than the sum of its parts. He has a special ability to connect with an audience and with each individual. He is warm, engaging, humorous and charming. And you can feel him.
I had the privilege of escorting the monks, including my friend Togden, to an audience with H.H. Tenzin Gyatso and the whole thing was a juxtaposition of cultures. At that time I owned a sports car and the monks of course wore their saffron and maroon robes. Imagine them exiting from a low-to-the-ground white sporty car with a black bra in the company of a Western Woman driver.
Then imagine them entering the building where they would have audience and being escorted by that woman. Imagine the raised eyebrows on the Secret Service agents when I emerged from the midst of the entourage. Then imagine meeting the eyes of one of the few truly Holy Men on this planet; imagine your spiritual hero locking a gaze with you while about 5 feet away. His eyebrows raise, then his eyes smile. He nods. I smile. I place my hands in Anjali Mudra and bow. He sees and acknowledges. I float to my seat. The day before I took a vow that he asked me to take to walk a non-violent path in the world. In this moment, he doesn’t know that. Or does he? He doesn’t know I have waited for many years to be in his presence, in his energy. He and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are my spiritual guides and James Twyman is my primary religious educator. I have been fortunate to have sat in audience with them and so many I admire as the first wave shakers and makers of change on this planet. This is the moment of a lifetime; I am in a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
I sit down on the sidelines as this is not my meeting, not my culture. His Holiness begins to speak in English about Tibet and China and quickly switches to a Tibetan tongue. It doesn’t matter: I still understand though he speaks not in my language. Actually, language and speech are not really necessary. I get it. I “hear” his energy; I “feel” his peace. We are one.
When this particular holy man says something, I listen. He has made that statement about the Western Woman and that the world will be healed by her ministrations. I am not surprised for it seems to me she is the stonger sex, the more powerful of the partners. Capable of assimilating great pain as well as great joy. She is mother. She carries life inside. She knows the value of life because she knows its miracle intimately.
I have often wondered what would happen if all the women of the world stood in front of their male babies when they were grown and said: “No!” No to violence, no to conflict, no to the miliary and no to war. What if she, to make her point clearly, withheld all sexual favors until the world began to nurture humankind’s brilliance instead of its shadow. And if men tried to force the issue, what if the women stood together, for one another? With no young men to fight their wars, what would “they” do?
The World Conference on Women was initiated in 1975 and Hillary Clinton gave her iconic speech at the Fourth World Conference on Women and you may remember it was in Bejing, China– an amazing first for that country and this planet. It was, however, twenty years after the first one- in 1995. The formal movement has not happened quickly; perhaps a grassroots is the preferred methodology? The goddess is restless? I am woman hear me roar? The momentum may exist now for critical mass. It seems Michael Jackson women may be part of creating that mass in consciousness.
Women are awakening to their power and their part in shaping the world. Women seem to be awakening in more numbers than men. Most humanitarian organizations are populated by women; personal growth classes and seminars are disproportionately attended by more women.
And a curious thing happened on the way to Inner Michael. The website grew organically without being promoted and it was women who spread it. The letters started coming. The “why?” question multiplied exponentially. Women were gripped and frozen by a misery and grief that was unlike anything I had before witnessed. There was no explanation. Nine Eleven affected a whole country, rocked the world even, but there was a plausible explanation for the magnitude of that grief– it killed three thousand people and made terrorism personal. The death and devastation was enormous.
But this grief was more personal at the outset. And it was spellbinding and deep and a shared personal grief. Shortly after I wrote the review of Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” and then the Thank You tribute article, I began to get letters from women– about 60 letters a week in the beginning. These women were deeply in the throes of grief because of the death of Michael Jackson— a pop star and a man they didn’t know! They wrote that they were confused by the scope and magnitute of their grief, by the depth of their mourning. Many never knew of Michael Jackson before or knew of him and had paid no attention. But his passing triggered something in them and they were perplexed and more than a little worried about themselves. It quickly became clear to me that this was unprecendented; this was a phenomenon.
The demographics were surprising. While many were young and just recently introduced to Michael and his music, many were middle aged women– seasoned in their experience and in living life. Wise women. They were professional women, married women, mothers and grandmothers. The professional ranks included doctors, teachers, lawyers, administrators, and even nuns. Something unusual was happening here!
One woman wrote to tell me she had been awakened by an unseen hand in the middle of the night and unable to sleep, she turned on the TV only to witness Michael Jackson’s memorial service at the Staples Center. When she was finally able to sleep, she woke the next morning with Michael on her mind and she began exploring his life. That story was repeated to me over and over.
I spoke to psychologists and therapists. I asked other ministers. I scoured books looking for the answer. I even went to a Spiritualist Camp to see if they could identify what was going on. Surely the phenomenon of a spirit presence so prevalent and widespread having such a wide and similar effect on people had a name? Even the Spiritualists, who work with spirits who have passed on, were puzzled. They had no explanation for me.
Many of these women who wrote were extremely worried about themselves. They were confounded by their own feelings. Did they need to see a doctor? Perhaps a psychiatrist? Perhaps if there had been one or two of them gripped by an unexplainable obesssion, but they all were! Since I was a kind of hub or touchpoint for all of them, I seemed to be in the center of a storm there was no precedent for. A perfect storm.
Every one of them had the symptoms of spiritual emergency. I had traveled a great distance to take the courses for spiritual emergency and emergence to another state the previous summer. It appeared to me that it was a preparation for this work. The messages all had requests for understanding and the whys of what was happening to them. It was a collective spiritual emergency and a collective spiritual awakening. There was no other explanation for it. So I answered as much as I humanly could in each letter and wrote the rest at Inner Michael.
Someone just this week wrote to say “thanks” and to say I have become her “guru.” I may be a guide, but these women are all their own guru. Their soul is calling them. I just happened to recognize it and be in the right place at the right time to retain their sanity. My own spiritual advisor and associate pastor helped me to understand that I was being called. It has been a pleasure to serve– both people and planet. And that is what is happening here- a transformation of people in service to the transformation of a planet.
Someone else asked me this week if I would ever consider sponsoring and designing a retreat. I have thought about that and my land borders a retreat center. Of course I have considered it. I wonder if there is interest in gathering Michael Jackson fans for something other than a pilgrimage in homage to him. Perhaps a camp for how MJ fans might work to heal the world? Some have already begun on their own.
Shall we “wish upon that star?” I don’t know. Maybe you have some ideas. The moon is a harsh mistress? Maybe it’s a harsh master. We had a conversation last night. I asked questions and await their answers. Sitting on a rock on the shore of the largest inland lake in the United States, my feet felt the cool froth of the incoming waves and my eyes beheld the largest, golden-est, brightest moon I have ever seen. The moon glade looked like the yellow brick road itself. Send me a sign, will you?
Another reader requested “would you consider sharing some of those letters from readers?” I would be willing to share some samples anonymously. I have saved all of them and thought someday they will be a book. It’s too early to release them. And I am pretty sure the writers to not want them copied or shared in any other way. And I am not sure there is a way to prevent that. So I will pray and meditate on it.
For today there are other pressing but related issues to attend to. Today is the transit of Venus– we will never see it again in our lifetime. We have come from an eclilpse, full moon, Venus transit and soon into solstice. The energy! “Can you feel it?” We will come back to this discussion after the election in Wisconsin. We are fighting a battle for democracy here, for principles, for the individual David against the goliath corporations and billionaires pouring money into this state. we have heard “Wisconsin is the first domino” that if it falls, will set in motion another civil rights battle in this country. We are trying to keep it by the people for the people. In my younger days we called it “power to the people.” Michael grew up in that environment; that is why he believed so much in himself and his power (and ours united with him) to “make that change.” Today marks a monumental milestone in America; it sets the compass for the future. Please pray for us here; it’s a prayer that joins Michael’s for equality and a planet “for the people” in harmony… continues.
Now back to headquarters.
We have work to do here.
Couple of things came up since I posted this article…
Wisconsin’s Governor Walker will retain his seat as governor of Wisconsin. I am very sad today because I think this sets a precendent that big money can buy elections. It is well known and documented that the Koch brothers funded much of Governor Walker’s defense campaign and produced propaganda about the budget and jobs numbers framing the distortions as “the facts.”
I was calling voters and canvasing yesterday and I heard over and over that people are tired of the “drama” in politics; in fact they are tired of the “politics,” period. They want their representatives to understand that the people are the boss, not the other way around. And over and over I heard a longing for “humanitarian values.”
Newspaper articles today said the people who protested special interests, big money and the loss of collective bargaining rights will continue to protest. Some see this failed recall as the beginning of the death of the middle class.
I bring this up not to insist that you ascribe to my politics but to illustrate how effective propaganda is. Propaganda is the deliberate spreading of rumors, lies and innuendo for the purpose of hooking people’s emotions and swaying their opinion. The clever use of linguistics informs the propaganda and makes it more effective. Repitition then solidifies the false meme.
We added the power of linguistics and the language of racism to the “Words and Violence” curriculum for this very reason– it is important to discern truth for oneself rather than relying on others. We need to highlight in particular– “critical thinking skills.” If anyone is an expert in teaching critical thinking, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have seen with the Michael Jackson story how effective are the tools of propaganda. He was a target of it his whole life. Much of it was inspired by racism. I am encouraged by the percentage of the Wisconsin Leutenant Governor’s contest yesterday– he’s a family man, is black and is a firefighter. He won 46% of the vote. This is significant in a state that was deliberately segregated in it’s northern parts until the late sixties. Racism was rampant here; the underground railroad runs through our state and catacombs criss cross cities here.
What may happen as a result of the recall election is that those who uphold and defend civil rights and human rights get even stronger. We hope that the day comes when we no longer have to ask “what happened to humanitarianism?”
The Dalai Lama
You will notice I received a hate message (printed in the “comments” section.) I left it in because it illustrates what happens to people when they are propagandized with hatred and fear.
Michael Jackson knew the Dalai Lama and he admired him.
Someone who is a Chinese Nationalist or Imperialist would write those words: “The Dalai Lama is a liar.” It is likely a young person under the influence of the propaganda from the People’s Republic of China.
The conflict between the Chinese and Tibetans began in the nineteen fifties. Tibet was subsequently invaded by the Chinese and occupied with the intention of annexing it as part of China. Monks and religious leaders were executed including the Dalai Lama’s own teacher. The Dalai Lama fled Tibet and was exiled to Dharamsahla India.
He was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1989 for his peaceful means of protest of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. He was also given the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 by President Bush. He has maintained that Tibetans wish now for “autonomy” rather than independence from China. The Chinese do not believe him but believe he is a proponent of the restoration of Tibet to its former independence. It is a concilliatory political position. The disbelief is perhaps the reference to “the “lie” referred to in the comment. If I am assuming incorrectly, the commentor is welcome to correct me. And if the person who wrote the comment has a defense for the invasion and occupation of a sovereign country and executions of its religious by a military force from a bordering regime, please bring it. The rest of us are informed by the historical reality. Michael Jackson was a friend and supported the Dalai Lama’s position.