what the Dalai Lama told me…

This week in Sunday Life I try “infinite altruism”

2011 07 03 1209 what the Dalai Lama told me...

There’s something special about His Holiness the Dalai Lama, if I can be permitted such an obviousism. Something disarming. It’s the way he answers questions like, Is being gay OK? His response to a journalist once makes me smile: “I will ask ‘What is your companion’s opinion?’. If you both agree…then it is okay'”.  It’s the way he quietly takes off his shoes while presenting to 3000 people and sits with his brown fluffy-socked feet tucked under him, as he did during his recent visit.

On Friday I met His Holiness for the third time. Each visit I’ve expected it to be a bit like Christmas – all build-up, then more of the same.

But he gets me every time.

This visit I asked if it’s better to pursue happiness or altruism. He wagged a finger at me: “Altruism! Because altruism is the easiest, fastest way to be happy.” Infinite altruism, he said was his life goal. Every morning after waking at 3.30am he consciously offers his “body and mind to the purpose of others”.

“This is what brings me my joyfulness,” he said rather significantly.

Read more