In the silence a pen dropped
From the hand of a small child in the third row
From the top of the bleachers
And the sound deafened the ears
Of a girl from one hundred yards away
Across the arena.

Breaths were held, and no one moved
We waited until the first glimpse
Of his red robes could be seen
Through the black curtains in the corner.

At the sight of a wrinkled bald head
And rough hands clasped in prayer
We erupted in cheers and applause
Pounding the air around us in approval.

The spotlight shines on a small lake
Of purple, blue, and red robes.
Men and women in medieval academic dress
A sign of prestige in knowledge before their peers.

At first words so foreign no one could understand
As if the tongue of compassion was too
Majestic for our common minds to comprehend.

A man of the eight fold path
Of pure intentions and empathy
Gives an easy laugh to an eager crowd
Young minds who think from their hearts
Drink in this warmth like sweet nectar.

Every breath this small man takes
Echoes across the stadium
All sit silent save for my hand
As the monk charges us with a quest for peace and happiness.

"Peace doesn't come from the sky
Peace depends on us."
The checklist given contains willpower
And a common concern for all humanity
Among other great things.

Everything is interdependent
From nation to nation
Continent to continent
Religion to religion.
Destruction of a neighbor is
Destruction of self.

My mind wanders to the protesters
On the other side of our walls.
Questions surround this man
Does he mean what he says?

With words like these cascading from his tongue
Can the pictures and stories of violence
That came from his hands be true?
Perhaps the teacher should teach himself?

The ethics of a modern society
Cannot be based on one form
Yet must grow and adapt to a global
Perspective and understanding.

To completely suppress and suffocate all inner
Destructive emotions is a fantasy
Limited anger reserves can be called upon
To help a torn world to sew itself together.

The day the Berlin Wall disappeared
Was the day we began to love
With dreams come the opportunities
To act.

A/N: Parts of this, esp the quotations are taking fom the speech the Dalai Lama gave at the Bank of America Arena at UW where i listened to him speak.