We all grow up with dreams of making the world a better place, and the older we get the more impossible the task seems to be. So, we start to break it down, and focus on our companies, or focus on our families, and there comes a point when you 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, as when you understand the self, you understand the other, and you understand that you are one.
We travelled as four women from Oman. They are my colleagues, my sisters, my soulmates. It is with these women that I have come to understand the self and its expansiveness. We travelled to Dharamshala in hope that we would meet His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in India. We had no firm appointment, as Dira International is an unknown company, but on our arrival through the grace of God a miracle happened.
The office of the Dalai Lama was interested to have dialogue with women who came from a Muslim country, on their own initiative, seeking out what he represents - compassion. We share a vision you see, of a future where people move from thinking about the ‘I’ to thinking about ‘We’, and where egos are set aside, and love and compassion is the fabric of communities.
The Dalai Lama spoke about how the self cannot survive alone, and even though there are 7bn people, it is still one world, and if one were to separate themselves they would feel lonely. It is our nature to love, and it is our nature to receive love, as a baby is nurtured by its mother.
We also attended a talk he gave to a group of Jewish students where he spoke of building shared resources between the Israelis and the Palestinians as one people, that 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 is self induced by humans, and as he touched various sensitive subjects, he would break the discomfort with a giggle. We started Dira International as a community project rooted in love and acceptance. As the anchor of the community, we aim to build a wellness sanctuary whose vision is to make a shift in what drives action from that of the ego to that of the heart.
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 start in Oman as a project, but one day perhaps 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 share a dream with leaders around the world, and people around the world, and communities around the world, then perhaps one day it indeed will manifest.
By Lubna al Kharusi, chairperson, Dira International