His Holiness landed today. Tonight I drove down to Loading Dock 1, at the back of The venue, and, once I passed stringent security (ahem cough) I parked my car and found my peeps.
Three wonderful and excited volunteers were waiting for me and emptied my tiny car of the huge weight I’d been dragging for the last few days. It took three trips with trolley to I don’t know where inside that building.
While I waited, with open car door, I got swept up in the excitement of beginnings. People dashed to and fro, unloading massive amounts of boxes and Vietnamese shopping bags – you know the ones…
White aussies, mixed with Tibetans, and robed ones. Monks and nuns lifting and carrying. Had my first of, what I’m sure will be many, an interesting conversation with a visiting monastic. The beautiful nun left me with a small bag of sweets ‘I think you’ll need these before the night is done’ – ‘thank you Sister’.
The atmosphere inside the building that houses His Holiness’s teachings is always one of pure joy. Serene smiles and slow movements. It’s like what I imagine a Buddhist country is…being surrounded by like-minded beings…a little bubble of safety and happiness in the big city. Of course not everyone that attends will be Buddhist, that’s presumptuous, but on past experience I will call it early and say that the next three days will feel like one big hug.
Once this set up period is done that is 🙂
Months of emails and phone calls, reams of legalese and security requirements all fall down on the day as I knew they would. No one checks the number plate on my car, that I was required to submit to gain entry. No one asks my name, checks my ID, stops me at any point. Still, I comply, stay with my vehicle and do not enter beyond the dock. I hear it’s bedlam upstairs though and I’m told that our appointed area is ‘ok’, said with a voice that clearly doesn’t mean it. I expect to be less than impressed when I see it in the morning.
Yesterday I was nervous and excited. Tonight I’m excited. I’m so looking forward to hearing that laugh up close and personal again.
Om mani padme hum