How to Find Peace During These Times of Turbulence.

Via Lisa Tully
on Sep 3, 2012
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Dalai Lama’s Temple

“In chaos there is fertility.”

~ Anais Nin

So much seems to be out of our control these days, it’s as though the relentless challenges of this century have left no global stone unturned. But have you stopped at any point to search for any silver linings? Whether it be in your own personal experience or a more wide-spread concern?

To encourage you to do exactly that I will share with you my recent experiences in India, where things not going to plan brought about a blessed encounter.

As fate would have it, the Dalai Lama’s birthday came about when I was living amongst the Tibetan community in exile, up in the foothills of the glorious Himalayas in Northern India. After the invasion of China in 1951, thousands of Tibetans refugees fled to this mountainous town and made it their home, including the Dalai Lama himself.

I had been to celebrations before in the Dalai Lama’s temple where Tibetan men, women and children displayed their abilities in that soft, somewhat sensual Tibetan dance. Where movements at times are so subtle they can seem like a last minute decision that wasn’t quite followed through. Where wonderful costumes mimicked a life once lived in the peace and serenity of a free Land of the Snows—a free Tibet.

Children and their knowledge of these cultural pursuits are crucial in this exiled world for one day they could be the generation that rebuilds Tibet.

By asking around the monastic community, I found out a few days before that the Dalai Lama himself would be present which apparently is a rarity due to political tensions. And that this was an extra big celebration due to His Holiness being awarded the Templeton Prize, for which he received a sum of £1.1 million that he immediately donated to charity.

I am very fortunate in that I have wonderful monastic friendships within this community, which I find are becoming ever more the sweeter, the deeper, the truer.

Through difficult times, through exuberant times, through monotonous times we have stayed strong. So the opportunity to celebrate this wonderful day with them resulted in me happily extending my stay in Mother India.

The festivities actually began the night before. Chilling out with the monks in their monastery we stayed up late sipping chai and cracking jokes that found existence on the precipice of our broken Tibetlish.

Their day usually begins at 6 a.m. with the hope shattering resonances of a morning gong, so naturally they were looking forward to a rare sleep in the following morning. However at about 10:15 p.m. their expectancies took a turn when Lama Buga received a phone call.

It was his friends in Tibet requesting a puja (Buddhist prayers) the following day.

My dear friend Lama Buga is named such because he has a deep-seated loyalty that I currently find very rare in my Western world. He also happens to be the puja manager, so needless to say the word went out that everyone had to be up at the usual time for a brief spell of work.

One lama didn’t get the message and despite his holiday protests that following morning, he was promptly hauled out of bed by the committed monks, for a holiday in exile is unfortunately yet another nightmare day in Chinese occupied Tibet.

I, on the other hand, was busy sleeping through my alarm clock which interestingly was the first and last time this happened during this trip to India. After I had finally woken up and was deliriously charging about my hotel room I received a phone call from Lama Buga declaring “puja finish,” which I knew to mean “come on let’s go!”

When I made it to the monastery, the monks were waiting at the entrance for me as they watched a rainbow of traditional Tibetan chubas (dresses) float by: children dressed in special outfits that used to be the norm in Tibet and women resembling oriental goddesses that made me as a westerner look so very plain.

A young niece of Lama Lobo’s showed up and was being fussed over by her mother as the finishing touches of her ethnic outfit were perfected.

Hers was a rare style of chuba so the attention she was drawing was aplenty.  Many thumbs up from the monks as they tried to convey to me the uniqueness of it accompanied by a “Chuba good!” from Lama Buga.

So, alas, with the impromptu puja, my lateness, the dress rehearsal and a habitual cup of chai en route, we were very late arriving at the big event.

Crowds had already solidly filled out the small space and I found myself stuck between them and an unceasing stream of new arrivals. I could see absolutely nothing and due to memories of Kalachakra 2012 (12 day Buddhist ceremony held in Bodhgaya, India) being close to the surface of my mind, I decided to leave for fear of being crushed in a crimson tide of Tibetans.

Those folks are a lot tougher than me!


En route with the monks!


Lama Buga, who is not a big fan of crowds either, was only delighted to accompany me.

As he skilfully weaved his way out a few feet ahead of me, he turned around at one stage, pointed into a car squashing by us and shouts “Karmapa!”

The Karmapa, who could be described as being similar in ability to the Dalai Lama for he too is a high level reincarnated Tibetan master, was right there!

And to have him pass so closely by like that you can be sure his rays were shining right where we needed them to.

And in that moment I had a realisation.

I had been lucky enough to be in the presence of the Dalai Lama three times on this trip and perhaps my uncharacteristic tardiness that morning was the work of an all-knowing higher intelligence. For what the Dalai Lama brings in compassion and openness I would say the Karmapa matches in wisdom and wrathfulness.

All much-needed qualities for the world we live in today, don’t you think?

So if in your life if things don’t go to plan I say let it go for really there is no wrong.

There is a higher plan mapped out which we agreed to before we came down to earth—it’s our soul contract. And if you take the time to reflect back and join the dots that got you to where you are today you may find that the times were everything fell apart did so, so the right path could come together.


Editor: Lara C.


Like I’m Not Spiritual, I Just Practice Being a Good Person on Facebook.


About Lisa Tully

Lisa Tully ditched the corporate world a few years back and headed to India on her last few sheckles. She had a burning desire to see the Dalai Lama in person and learn from him. Blown away by the Tibetan culture she was simultaneously overwhelmed by profound inspiration for what she should do for her next job incarnation! Fast-forward past some serious doubts, the odd flood of tears, and nothing short of a few miracles—she now runs successful spiritual group tours to Dharamsala & Ladakh in Northern India plus the magical kingdom of Bhutan. Lisa loves nothing more than to take folks to experience the exact same life-changing trips she did. Visit her site & join the adventures!


24 Responses to “How to Find Peace During These Times of Turbulence.”

  1. Lisa Tully says:

    Glad you enjoyed it Piers!

  2. Gerri R. says:

    This was an inspiring post, for sure. I hope to have an experience as you did some day as I'm sure it would be life changing :).

  3. Megan Turnbull says:

    Wow you're definitely lucky if you got to be in the presence of the Dali Lama one time, never mind 3!! Wow…

  4. Danny says:

    This was an eye opening article for me! Thanks Elephant Journal! Bookmarked and shared :).

  5. Brittany Waters says:

    Cool! I didn't know that The Karmapa, is a high level reincarnated Tibetan master. Amazing you got to experience this!

  6. Hal Johnstone says:

    Glad you have shared this! I was really trying to find a way to get some inner peace <3.

  7. Iona Smith says:

    This WAS a very beautiful peace. What drew me to it was that beautiful and peaceful looking image at the top. Well written and truly inspirational. – Iona, Hamden, CT

  8. Desi Rose says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I also really enjoyed reading this post. It has inspired me to travel the world more and be able to experience such peace during the times of turbulence. I have recently watched Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love and this story reminded me somewhat of that movie. Keep on writing!

    Fairfax, VA, USA

  9. Todd Delbridge says:

    Wow! Is this website ever packed full of great stories and articles! I'm addicted! 🙂 Anyway, in regards to this article, I only wish to experience something as great as this, but I am sure glad you have shared with us your experiences and new found knowledge.

  10. Christine says:

    Very inspirational. Do you really think that we have a soul contract? I sure hope so. Sometimes I find it hard to believe because of all the people who experience horrible tragedies… but maybe that's because of their karma in a previous life?

  11. […] Peace of mind is not a result of external conditions being one way or another. Peace of mind cannot be forcibly taken from you by a burglar or neighbor or spouse. […]

  12. LisaTully says:

    Thanks Desi glad you found inspiration from this post! I will indeed keep writing! All the best Lisa

  13. LisaTully says:

    Gerri make it happen for yourself. We only have the present moment today! Cheers Lisa

  14. LisaTully says:

    Dear Megan

    Yes he is incredible. He makes time for us even though he has so much going on with Tibet and the Chinese oppression. I feel very blessed but should you travel to Dharamsala you could see him there too. Just a thought. 😉

    All the best


  15. LisaTully says:

    Thanks Danny appreciate the support! Lisa

  16. LisaTully says:

    Indeed he is Brittany and it is possible to attend public blessings by him too in this part of India. Lisa

  17. LisaTully says:

    Good to hear you found it from my experiences Hal.

  18. LisaTully says:

    So delighted you enjoyed it Iona. The picture is the Dalai Lama's temple in exile. It is a very peaceful place to be especially when he is in town! All the best Lisa

  19. LisaTully says:

    Glad you are enjoying both my article AND the elephant journal community Todd…it really does rock I agree. Many thanks Lisa

  20. LisaTully says:

    I believe we ALL have agreed on what we will experience in this lifetime even those who die in tragedies. There is a really great book you can read on it



  21. Eliza Woorman says:

    Glad I started off my morning reading this 🙂

  22. LisaTully says:

    Glad you enjoyed it Eliza! All the best Lisa 😉