An Audience with the Dalai Lama

Gail Davis, 10 May 2011

Two big things stand out for me after this experience. One is that this man must have the most joyful laugh I have ever heard! You cannot keep the smile off of your face when he says something funny and then giggles. It is the perfect sound to come from someone who is so committed to peace, harmony and unity. The other thing was how he sent a big message “not to take yourself too seriously.” He was given a red SMU baseball cap which he wore for the better part of the event. He was almost playful with the hat.

I loved his comments about how we are the same human beings mentally, emotionally, physically. He went on to say, "We all have the right to achieve happiness … The world belongs to humanity, not to kings or spiritual leaders".” He also said, "The whole world is one entity, one body."

At the end of his presentation he answered several questions from the audience including a question on democracy. "Democracy is not an American possession. It is universal," he said.

The audience was largely made up of high school students. He encouraged young people of the 21st century to view the world holistically in order to solve the problems of the 20th century.

He said, “Young people belong to the 21st century; you can make this century more happy, peaceful and democratic." He continued by stating that young people need to broaden their education in order to gap the appearance and the reality of the world. At the end of the presentation, he closed by saying, “Your mind must be very calm. Too much emotion and you cannot see the reality." Aspects of a calm mind include love, compassion and tolerance.

I hear tons of speakers and I often offer a pretty harsh criticism on basic presentation skills. This was different. There were some language issues. At times the accent was a little hard to understand. But one cannot argue that this man has a presence, a real aura, if you will, that surrounds him.

I always tell my clients that investing in a speaker who provides an experience to their audience is like giving them a gift. Today, hearing the Dalai Lama was truly a gift and an experience I won’t soon forget.