“My definition of being a real person is being awake to the spirits (moods) that go through you and taking responsibility for their effects on others.” Dr Arnold Mindell 

When we are stuck in a belief system, we become lost and turn into “Phantoms”. As Phantoms, we believe there is only one way to be on this planet. We believe, our way is the right way and everyone else is wrong. As Phantoms, we close our hearts and minds to others, we get disturbed when others do not behave the way we want them to. Even worse, we give unsolicited advice, telling others what they should do, giving our opinion when it was not asked for.

Sir Ken Robinson tells a story of the Dalai Lama who was the guest of honour at the Vancouver Peace Summit. An audience member asked the Dalai Lama a question. Two thousand people waited as the Dalai Lama remained silent for almost a minute, then he leaned forward and answered, “I don’t know“.

When I heard this story I could feel the spacious, the realness and beauty in the Dalai Lama’s way of being.

Beliefs are moods or spirits we carry. If we are wise, we allow them to move through us  humbly knowing they are always intended to be impermanent. Moods move through us not intended to be inhabited forever, but only living with them for a while to see what they have to teach us. The moment we start to identify with our beliefs or moods, we become lost.

Most young children are free. They allow moods, feelings and life to flow through them without trying to desperately hold on to friends, places or things. Young children make no judgments. This is the energy I sense within the Dalai Lama, he has detached from the “Drama” of life. His purpose on this planet is not to insist that others follow his rules, but to stay in loving kindness and compassion. He has escaped becoming a Phantom and remained a real person.

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