By Lubna Kharusi
We all grow up with dreams of making the world a better place but the older we grow, the more impossible the task seems to get. So, we start to break it down and focus on our companies or our families. There comes a point when we realise that the only way to induce change is through focus on the self.
It is in the understanding of the self that connections are built as we begin to realise that there is no separation, that the innate nature of human beings is the same. It is in the understanding of the self that the world can change.
When you understand the self, you understand the other, and you understand that you are one.
We, a group of four women from Oman, travelled to Dharamshala in India in the hope that we would meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama. These women were my colleagues, my sisters and my soulmates. It is with these women that I came to understand the self and its expansiveness. We had no appointment, as Dira International, a community project we started, is an unknown entity.
But on our arrival, through the grace of God, a miracle happened and the office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was interested in having a dialogue with us, the women who had come from a Muslim country, on their own initiative, seeking out what the Dalai Lama represented — compassion.
We shared the vision of a future where people had moved from thinking about “I” to “We”, where egos were set aside, and love and compassion were the fabric of communities.
His Holiness spoke about how the self cannot survive alone, and even though there are seven billion people, it is still one world, and if one were to separate himself/herself, one would feel lonely. It is our nature to love, and it is our nature to receive love, as a baby is nurtured by his/her mother.
We also attended a talk he gave to a group of Jewish students, where he spoke of building shared resources between Israelis and Palestinians as one people.
He said we are all brothers and sisters who share this earth, and when you look at the world from the sky, there are no borders.
He stressed that suffering was self induced.
When touching various sensitive subjects, he would dispel discomfort with a giggle.
We started Dira International as a project rooted in love and acceptance. As an anchor of the community, we aim to build a wellness sanctuary to make a shift from ego-driven to heart-driven action. The sanctuary revolves around a community academy that teaches people how to connect—connect to the self, and to that which is beyond them.
It may have started in Oman as a project, but perhaps one day, it will be the way that people will live all over the world—in oneness. Our visit confirmed a shared vision, and if a group from Oman shared a dream with leaders , people, and communities around the world, then one day this dream might manifest.