The Dalai Lama Speaks…

So finally I come to writing about seeing the Dalai Lama in Perth and the whole experience seems to have retreated to some peaceful space in my head that enables me to access feelings and intuition rather than facts and memory! On top of that, I have a glorious case of gastro and have been in bed for a day and a half and my brain is still residing somewhere near my umbilicus right now. I’ll give it a go nevertheless!

The first thing that struck me about the Dalia Lama was how small he looked surrounded by 17,000 people. There was no fanfare, no bright lights or elaborate set, just a small, humble man in red robes and a hat to shield his eyes from the glare of the lights overhead, with a gracious smile and serene demeanour. He began by saying, I’ve nothing to offer you, nothing. We are the same; I am just a normal person”. He was to talk about ethics for the new millennium and he began by saying that, It is our actions that bring joy, peace and happiness and which give us our ethics”. So simple and yet so easily forgotten by the academics who convolute matters, and by all of us who so often look beyond ourselves for answers, solutions, validation, peace, action, and solace.

He went on to say that the deepest experience of love and compassion begins at the breast of the mother and because of that everyone has the potential for compassion deep inside them. Even deep inside a cruel person is the seed of compassion; it’s other human experiences that subdues their innate compassion. And so, “ethics and compassion are not from religious teachings, but from basic biology… Cultivating compassion and affection for oneself brings peace [of mind]. Then others’ behaviours can then not undermine your own self-confidence and inner strength”.

The Dali Lama has the most infectious giggle I think I’ve ever heard. He had some language difficulties which resulted in some amusing translations from his friend sitting next to him. Predominantly they just agreed with each others interpretations and the Dalai Lama giggled as some of the comments went on a circular journey between them and he ended up saying exactly the same words he had to begin with, just with more conviction that they were right the second time around! He made a point of using Western examples and barely mentioned religion. He said: “Scientific findings from neurologists are investigating our emotions and are now confirming that kind-heartedness and a calm mind with compassion brings a positive effect on our brain and system (giggles here and infects 17,000 people who do the same) Doctors now realise that a compassionate mind strengthens our immune system and anger and hatred eat into our immune system… I don’t think that millionaires can buy compassion and happiness from the supermarket (more giggles)“.

He went on to speak about where our attention lies and what impact that has on our state of mind and our spiritual growth. “From birth we are running to death (chuckles) that’s life… It’s how we see illness that makes all the difference. Even the unfortunate can be transformed so there is benefit from it… Our joy ultimately depends on our warm-heartedness. This comes through our ability to analyse ourselves, not through any modern injection. (He points to his head and taps on it, grinning) This is a small space and quite mysterious, but ultimately powerful. It is our thoughts and emotions that are so important for happiness. It’s worthwhile to investigate them, especially compassion, which brings us spiritual reconciliation and peace of mind and allows us to judge long term consequences. This emotion (compassion) carries our wisdom.”

The Dalia Lama went on to say that our attention is usually 90% focused on the outside, but we need to bring it inwards to understand ourselves and find joy. He commented that mental experience/awareness can subdue our physical experience (including our experience of pain), so then our mental experience is more important than our physical or material existence. Therefore it is our innate, inner world; our compassion and warm-heartedness that is the most important level. “The sensory level relies on material values. Mental comfort comes through inner investigation.”

“Whether you believe in God or not doesn’t matter, ultimately YOU are you own Master, so be good!”

At the end he wisely said; “So, that’s all” and gave one of his deliciously infectious giggles and 17,000 of us giggled back, drew in a deep breath, drank up some of the residual compassion that this tiny man had draped across us like a warm blanket and contemplatively made our way outside the auditorium.



Filed under Inspirational, Love, Spiritual

23 responses to “The Dalai Lama Speaks…

  1. D. Peace

    That’s quite an experience. I’ve heard in other places about the Dalai Lama and every account describes him as much smaller, quieter, and unassuming than anyone would have guessed for.

    And I’ve also heard he has sort of a silly sense of humor, which matches your giggly description exactly.

    He sounds like the ultimate laid-back, easy-going guy to hang out with. I want to play X-Box with him.

    Nice blog, especially the title. My compliments.


  2. wrothful

    Thanks for your notes on this encounter. I love that concept of stillness, balance and grounded-ness within yourself. Especially as a starting point for the rest of your life. The self-investigation and the commitment to apply compassion… sounds great.


  3. Hi D.Peace, thanks for stopping by. I’m quite sure that if you invited the Dali Lama to play X-Box with you he’d happily consent!

    Hi Wrothful, yep, it was great, I’m so happy I was there. His message about compassion was so very simple, but so profound that the effect on the crowd was palpable.


  4. “Whether you believe in God or not doesn’t matter, ultimately YOU are you own Master, so be good!”

    That is it in a nutshell. Rules for life 101. Would that more of humanity be aware of it. The Dalai Lama is a very intelligent human being.



  5. hi, I thought I had left a comment here?!?
    nice message, thankx for telling us.
    his giggles are absolutely lovely, and contagious!


  6. Hi RW and JG, yes his giggles are certainly contagious 🙂

    By the way Misterpeace, I meant to thank you for the compliment re the blog title – I have to give credit for that to my Naturopath (he’s in the blogroll) – he sent me an email re the book wishing me luck, telling me it was sure to be a ‘cliterary masterpiece’. I thought that was so clever I stole it. (Wish I’d thought of it!)


  7. D. Peace

    Simonne – Well, it’s a great title and a great blog. Keep up the good work.

    I’ll see you around.


  8. Pingback: The Dalai Lama Speaks « Digital Dharma

  9. Very impressive, and very well done. I’ve read a dozen blogs that discussed His Holiness’ visit. This is the only one I’m excerpting for my own page.

    Thank you.


  10. Thanks for stopping by Bill, and I humbly thank you for the praise.


  11. Thanks for the sharing.

    It is indeed enlightening.


  12. Thanks for dropping by Robin 🙂


  13. Dawn

    Simonne I was there and how you remembered all that I have absolutely no idea. Well done! Bill’s right – you are very good at capturing the essence of something.


  14. Dawn

    PS I love the title also


  15. Ha! Hi Dawn! Very nice to see you here! I ‘remembered’ it because I was madly writing it all down, that’s how! 🙂


  16. chughes

    What an exciting and important event!
    You’ve definately had some adventures. i bet you could write many books.



  17. Dawn

    Yes I did realise that’s what you would have done – writing it down that is – and aren’t we lucky to have you to remind us of the importance of what the D L said? I caught the end of his address to the Press Club – it was so good. I am going to ask ABC to do a repeat.


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  19. nathalie

    Well done Simonne – good summary. Went to the morning session and could not regret the 4 hours wait in the freezing cold! That session was on the environment and climate change- another point to add about compassion: showing compassion to others also means looking after the world we live in and preserving it for future generations.
    When asked what he did to reduce his impact on the climate his Holiness explained that he took great care turning off lights in unoccupied rooms, and preferred showers to baths. I think everybody was charmed by his keen sense of humour and simple wisdom. Whether you understand and appreciate Buddhism or not, there is no doubt his Holiness has had an impact on all of us. Let’s just make sure that we actually think and act compassionate and generous, as well as speak of it!


  20. Thanks for dropping in Nat! Wow, you really had to wait that long? It sounds like it was worth it though. And yes, actions are our legacy, I agree. Come back now, ya hear!


  21. Sue Ann Edwards

    Many of us confuse Compasson with Sympathy.


  22. Doktor Holocaust

    it’s hard to disagree with the Lama, because he’s right. He sits and thinks about things for ages, and since all our physical experiences are filtered through our brain, our mental experience sort of flavors them. It’s why I spend a couple hours every morning reading blogs, sipping coffee, watching cartoons, and otherwise enjoying myself – no matter what kind of annoyance happens after that, it cannot convince me that I am having a bad day.


  23. Wow, what a cool life – do you work? I adore mornings like that!


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