Just a quick update to say that while I will probably not meet the Dalai Lama while I am here (he’s a busy man), I saw him today! He returned from a speaking trip in the US today, and we happened to be lunching with some friends at the cafe in his residence’s complex, and they happened to have heard from some Tibetans that His Holiness would be arriving around 3 pm. Needless to say, we waited outside with the crowds alongside the road until about 5 pm, but he arrived and it was amazing.
I’ve heard stories about his presence, about what it’s like to meet him, about what he’s like as a person and a speaker; I can’t contribute much to that anthology, because I only saw him through a car windshield, but I was about five feet from him, and had a clear line of vision. The moment I saw him, I of course knew immediately that it was him, and I gasped in excitement in spite of myself. He was smiling pleasantly and waving at everyone with a slightly bemused look, as if to say, “Oh, hello, fancy seeing you here,” despite the fact that people were bowing to him and saying prayers and taking pictures and just generally being overwhelmed. Just another manifestation of his impressive humility. I do wish I could have a chance to talk to him.