A Lesson of the Heart – Who Taught Me More?

dalai_lama1                       elvis

Who isn’t interested in things that deal with the HEART — be it a cardiac patient or any living, breathing human being?  After all, the heart is the core of our very being.  I recently met two very different HEART individuals — and thank the Lord — neither one had anything to do with cardiovascular disease!  Now, I cannot decide if I learned more from the Dalia Lama or from Elvis Presley.

I had the opportunity to meet the Dalia Lama (well, not personally, but rather the chance to listen to him speak.)  My expectation was that I would be fully enlightened and transformed and inspired beyond words.  He spoke on resilience through mindfulness – a wise heart-healthy practice.  I have heard many of the phrases about suffering and pain and giving and caring both in my profession and in relation to heart disease.  I know that he believes compassion is the pillar of world peace and that thought in itself, speaks to me.

The Dalia Lama is a curious, older gentleman, garbed in his burgundy and gold monk attire, with a contagious and remarkable laugh.  I expected a dynamic speaker but his English is broken and I found him difficult to understand at times.  He uses his hands to talk and always turns his head to the speaker appearing respectful and so focused on each individual.  He points and strikes a pose that reminds me of E.T. (but his finger does not glow.)  He definitely has a charisma, an aura, a “feel good” presence about him. The Dalia Lama refers to himself as a simple Buddhist monk.  He was so smiley and had a remarkable openness to all. He exudes humility.

The following night, I had another opportunity.  I went to a dinner event with a longtime friend, where the entertainment of the night was an Elvis impersonator (I know this was the REAL Elvis!)   Elvis wore this tight blue flashy jumpsuit with lots of bling and sequins and a wide belt.  He had this dreamy deep voice.  He told me he would “stand by me”.  I heard him say something like he “can’t help falling in love with me” and that he was “crying in the chapel” and something about a “hound dog.”   Elvis rocked and he rolled.  His dreamy eyes said it all!  I am sure that Elvis would refer to himself as the lavish shrewdest hunk. Elvis exuded arrogance and an apparent sincere caring attitude, much like the Dalia Lama.

Both the “hunk” and the “monk” – the famous singer and the religious leader – taught the same “Love Me Tender” heart lesson.

It all came across so clearly.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

~ John C. Maxwell


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