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Lions Roar : September 2013
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2013 36 the world contains has come through wishing the happiness of others.” As the Dalai Lama has said often, “If you want oth- ers to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” After leaving the Dalai Lama’s residence, I went to a café in the Dharamsala bazaar. Over a surprisingly good cappuccino, I reflected on my experiences over the past few hours. I had seen a routine that was simple, even mundane. The Dalai Lama pros- trated, exercised on the treadmill, took in his surroundings on the roof, meditated, and gave me things. Nothing out of the ordinary, really. Yet I could still feel the glow of goodwill he had emanated. I’d seen a man who takes good care of himself, physically and spiritually. I knew that his morning routine does not vary year in and year out. It takes discipline, perseverance, and self-control to get up every morning at 3:30, to work on spiritual development for a few hours before beginning his onerous official duties. The Dalai Lama has been doing that for decades, even when he is several time zones away from his home. The Dalai Lama has told me repeatedly that he is not fond of exercise. But as someone with a scientific bent of mind who keeps up with the latest advances in health, he knows it is important. He is acutely aware of the passage of time, and of the imperative of not squandering it. His ability to fulfill as much as possible his mission to help one and all depends on how well his body is tended. I also know that he wasn’t a particularly good student when he was young. He had a mercurial temper and was impulsive. Monastic disciplines like meditation and scriptural study did not come naturally to him. “Around seven or eight,” the Dalai Lama told me in an ear- lier meeting, a mischievous gleam in his eyes, “I had no interest in study. Only play. But one thing: my mind since young, quite sharp, can learn easily. This brings laziness. So my tutor always keep one whip, a yellow whip, by his side. When I saw the yellow whip, the holy whip for holy student the Dalai Lama, I studied. Out of fear. Even at that age I know, if I study, no holy pain.” Despite his reluctance to study when he was a child, the Dalai It is as if his personal boundaries have dissolved. As a result, he feels a profound kinship with everything and everyone. PHOTOSBYJAMESNACHTWAY From his hilltop residence, the Dalai Lama looks out on the Himalayan valley that separates the Indian subcontinent from his Tibetan homeland.