Our lovely tickets to the event
After going through the metal detectors & getting our tickets scanned, Vinh & I walked around to the different booths that were run by Tibetan artists. There were so many amazingly made jewelry, scrolls & decorative items. I ended up buying a metal bracelet with two dragons & a lotus carved on it as well as two really cool cell phone straps (one for me & one for Vinh).
Green strap (Vinh's) & beaded (mine)
After I finished looking around, Vinh directed me to our seats because he was tired of looking around at stuff. Obviously I got distracted by the stage so we headed down towards the stage so that we can take photos of the setup for the Dalai Lama. A man that was also down at the stage asked if we wanted a photo taken in front of the stage & so he took it for us. I love super friendly people :)
The seat that the Dalai Lama would sit on during the initiation
Vinh & I in front of the stage
Afterwards, we sat at our seats for a while before we decided to go to the concession stand to buy a cinnabon & a coffee. About an hour later, the Dalai Lama arrived on stage & started the Amitabha Permission Initiation. It was pretty cool being able to see the Dalai Lama live, it just sucked that you could only hear like 50% or less of what he said because he spoke too softly or his accent was overpowering his English. About an hour before the event ended, I decided to get out of my seat, walk down to the floor & up to the stage so that I can get a better photo of His Holiness teaching. I was actually surprised I did that because I'm usually very reserved & would never go straight up to something.
His Holiness with his visor on, hehe
Towards the end of the initiation, the Dalai Lama actually instructed & led the audience through the initiation, such as what to say, what to visualize, etc. I felt honored to be instructed by the Dalai Lama himself, he is such a wise man, but you can tell that he was super humble & that's what makes him so admirable, at least to me. When he was done, Vinh & I headed down toward the stage so that we can see him one last time before His Holiness left for the last time.
Also, we were advised to eat vegetarian food for the day, no meat. I have kept that up all day & have not eaten any meat whatsoever. I'm proud of myself, hehe. Overall, even though I did not hear the majority of what the Dalai Lama said, it was still a positive experience. I was glad that Vinh dragged me to this event because it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience :)