Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hello Dolly

Night before last I received an E-mail from Steve which said that tickets to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s visit to the Lehigh Valley went on sale the next day and he would treat me if I would get the tickets. Since Steve would be on a commuter bus into Manhattan at that hour he needed me to do the dirty work of ticket procurement. Startled that the Dalai Lama would actually be in our area I went to his web site---yes even the Dalai Lama has a web site http://www.dalailama.com// (I wonder if he is on My Space too?). There’s something not right about a “Dalai Lama.Com” isn’t there? I said I would and went to sleep.

Well yesterday we had a 9:30am appointment at the Second Harvest Food Bank to get food for the After School program I direct in center city Allentown but the tickets didn’t go on sale by (and get this) Ticketmaster until 10:00am. Ticketmaster is where you get your tickets for Mettalica, Rolling Stones, the Phillies, and so on---AND the Dalai Lama! So I figured I’d pick up our food order, get back to The Church of the Mediator, unload them and I would be at St. Andrew’s by 10:30am and I would go online and get tickets—no sweat right?

I got all my early morning chores done, got to the office, plugged in my lap top and was at the Ticketmaster web page in no time flat—it was about 10 minutes of 11 when I got to this. The Ticketmaster web page wouldn’t sell me the tickets. So I called Stabler Arena which told me that I could call three different Ticketmaster numbers for Arena Events. They also said that there was a ticket outlet in a Department Store at a Mall near St. Andrew’s. I figured that the Ticketmaster web page had a glitch, so I called all three of the numbers they gave me for phone tickets only to get a busy signal---for the next two hours I tried on and off.

Finally I thought I would just drive over to the Mall and go to the Ticketmaster outlet about 1:30pm when I left St. Andrew’s. I got to the place in the store and asked a nice older woman if I could buy tickets. She said “Honey, it sold out 20 minutes after they went on sale! I could have sold a thousand tickets here today!” On of her co-workers at the customer service desk ask “For whom?” And she said “The DOLLY Lama”.

I was amazed that the tickets sold so quickly. As I went back through the store back to my car (where my dog, Martini was patiently waiting) I had to walk through a maze of goods in what seemed like a retail fantasy—Godiva Chocolates, Crystal, China, Appliances, Oriental Rugs were displayed for a consumer orgy. As I was looking at all of this I thought about how the Dalai Lama sold out in 20 minutes. And how there was such a spiritual hunger in this nation that all these goods couldn’t fill as hard as they tried and as hard as their purchasers tried to fill a spiritual void with them. I thought about the Church and Jesus, I thought about how the Church somehow doesn’t get a message of peace and centeredness through to the culture---but chooses rather to fight about trifles. With a war raging what has the Church done to stop it? What has it done to raise the possibility of a balm in the Prince of Peace?

You gotta hand it to the Dolly Lama; at least he stays on message. Buddhists don’t seem to have the difficulties that the children of Abraham (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) seem to have. Christianity has been a source of strength, centeredness and a connection to the Divine for me. Albeit I have to have a constant filter on to eliminate the BS that much of Christianity constantly doles out. It’s clear we are not always good at witnessing to that experience to others. I wonder when we will get it?


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