Dalai Lama wedding reading PSA

Being invited to select a passage and read at the wedding was a mildly scary and ultimately joyful experience. Just offering this tip for mothers of grooms and others:  Fact check.

Googling for a "Dalai Lama wedding reading" led to a lovely, appropriate selection:

Take into account that great love
and great achievements involve great risk.
And that a loving atmosphere in your home
is the foundation for your life.
Be gentle with the earth, be gentle with one another.
When disagreements come remember always
to protect the spirit of your union.
When you realize you've made a mistake,
take immediate steps to correct it.
Remember that the best relationship is one
in which your love for each other
exceeds your need for each other.
So love yourselves, love one another,
love all that is your life together and all else will follow.

Although you will find many hits for this reading, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama did not say or write it. The bride and groom and many of their friends attended the Dalai Lama's talk at the United States Institute of Peace in June. We all wanted the reading to be true. 

The wedding couple found a reading that was perfect and meaningful for me to read instead. Standing before the Mediterranean in the wind and sun surrounded by the energy of so many loving friends was unforgettable: 

Our need for love

Ultimately, the reason why love and compassion bring the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else. The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. It results from the profound interdependence we all share with one another. However capable and skillful an individual may be, left alone, he or she will not survive. However vigorous and independent one may feel during the most prosperous periods of life, when one is sick or very young or very old, one must depend on the support of others.

Inter-dependence, of course, is a fundamental law of nature. Not only higher forms of life but also many of the smallest insects are social beings who, without any religion, law or education, survive by mutual cooperation based on an innate recognition of their interconnectedness. The most subtle level of material phenomena is also governed by interdependence. All phenomena from the planet we inhabit to the oceans, clouds, forests and flowers that surround us, arise in dependence upon subtle patterns of energy. Without their proper interaction, they dissolve and decay.

It is because our own human existence is so dependent on the help of others that our need for love lies at the very foundation of our existence.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder

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