“Guess what, we got it!” said a disembodied voice through the little cell phone receiver. Edie Weinstein-Moser stared at her friends in disbelief and then screamed with exuberant joy. The noisy music festival around them faded into oblivion as her friend, a professional photographer, snapped a photograph of her incredulous expression. In one week, she would fulfill a 20 year-old journalistic dream when she would meet face-to-face with the Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso.
Interviewing spiritual notables fit naturally into Edie’s life. In 1988, she and her late husband Michael, started Visions Magazine, a monthly publication focusing on alternative health, psychology & spirituality. Over the years, Edie interviewed many inspiring personalities including Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Grover Washington, Jr., Olympia Dukakis, Ben & Jerry, Patch Adams, Shirley MacLaine, Kenny Loggins and Dennis Weaver.
“Maybe someday we will interview the Dalai Lama,” Edie told Michael when they first started Visions. They joked about it, but somewhere deep, Edie knew it was going to happen – that once she had voiced it, it had to happen. A friend advised her to start writing questions as if the interview were the next day.
After starting the magazine, Edie’s husband was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. After his death, Edie continued his dream to promote good will, laughter and healing as an inter-faith minister. When he passed away, Edie realized her own desire to continue the calling and took the courses necessary to complete the degree. The same clear inner voice that gave her the direction to meet and marry Michael gave her the confidence to strive for her next goal and handle life’s complex challenges with honesty and empowerment.
Suddenly a single mom of a special needs child, Edie worked as a licensed social worker, fitting in her diverse pursuits on the side. The interview with the Tibetan leader would be the crux of many dreams, personally and professionally.
Revising her questions over the years, Edie began preparing to meet the holy man. Vision boards in her home surrounded her with imagery of the Dalai Lama. She verbalized her dream with a new fervor and attended local events where the Dalai Lama spoke, interviewing attendees and learning from their interpretations.
After getting the news, Edie headed straight to her favorite little store, Shop of India, in New Hope, PA and picked out an embroidered dress with pastel color patchwork. This interview demanded her best in so many ways and she would be ready. Later she would wear the dress as a physical reminder that you can fulfill your dreams and that it really did happen.
“Dressed his traditional red and yellow robes, the Dalai Lama leaned back in his chair and laughed wholeheartedly. Edie couldn’t even remember the topic, only the divinely human response.”
The morning before, Edie went to see the Dalai Lama speak at a Buddhist temple. She spoke to the media there and realized, to her amazement, that she and only one other journalist were allowed access to him during this visit. The two of them would each get fifteen minutes. In the spirit of sharing and good karma, the other reporter, David O’Reilly, agreed to share the time, giving both interviewers thirty minutes to hear the words of one of the world’s most beloved figures.
That morning came and Edie drove to the hotel, wanting to pinch herself to see if this was really happening. She and David went over questions they would ask and the moment arrived. In a daze, she passed secret service and Philly police as she walked through the hotel.
Entering the room, tears welled in Edie’s eyes. She was guided through a traditional greeting. A white silk scarf called a “katah” was folded across her outstretched arms in a prayer pose called “namaste” meaning “the highest in me honors the highest in you.” Taking the scarf, the spiritual leader blessed it and put it around her neck and hugged her.
Edie recounts her awe at his youthfulness and simplicity, a 73 year old little boy. With youthful dimples, he sat close. When he wanted to make a point, he would lean over and tap her arm. More than a figure head, he was a real person, "a simple monk" he likes to say.
During the interview, Edie didn’t talk about politics. Enough material was on the record for that. Discussing life with this well-educated humble man, Edie saw him more as a semi-retired emissary, a traveling professor, who lives to connect heart-to-heart with people in a very real way -- what you see is what you get.
One of the most vivid memories came at the end of their time. Dressed his traditional red and yellow robes, the Dalai Lama leaned back in his chair and laughed wholeheartedly. Edie couldn’t even remember the topic, only the divinely human response.
“To be in the presence of someone so tapped into God energy was amazing,” shared Edie afterward. Tirelessly, he was heading out to another audience after their interview.
“He exuded loving compassion. I didn’t want to wash again after his hug. Don’t worry, I have though,” she adds with her own infectious humor.
After the interview, Edie had to leave and go back to work. Hurrying home, she would meet her newspaper deadline with only 4 hours to complete the story. Waking at 3 AM, she hurried to the local convenience store and picked up a fresh copy. Sure enough, it was there. Her first response was discouragement over the low placement on the front page. A friend reminded her, “You interviewed the Dalai Lama. Nothing else matters.”
Edie realized long ago that nothing happens by accident. She also knew that this interview would be a major stepping stone for her. She now encourages listeners to take the steps to amazing possibilities in their own lives. Following a “breadcrumb trail” philosophy, she empowers others with the hope that if she was able to get that interview, they can do anything they put their heart and soul into.
By changing her perception of the world, Edie fulfilled a dream. She actively shares what she calls a state of miracle-mindness. “When you shift your perception, miracles happen.” Her next goal? To interview Oprah. And, it probably will happen someday.
Rev. Edie Weinstein-Moser, LSW is a work in progress. Her creative, career and spiritual paths have led her to become a writer, speaker, interfaith minister, reiki master, clown, radio host, workshop facilitator and social worker. She engages in life fully, inviting others to join her.
Her personal website is www.liveinjoy.org.
You can hear Edie online at www.isysinnervision.com. Her radio show, Living Juicy airs Wednesday nights from 7-9 PM eastern standard time.
Thank you Edie, for sharing your Story with us.
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© 2008 by Sarah Peppel and Story of My Life®