Wishing His Holiness the Dalai Lama a joyful 83rd birthday and praying for his long life!
I’ll never forget the one and only time I met the Dalai Lama, outside his residence in Dharamsala many years ago. I was quite young, coming off a difficult break-up, heartbroken and wandering alone in the mountains of northern India.
We held hands for a minute and he looked at me with such love and care. I felt so seen by him as he allowed me all the way in to his heart. He wasn’t trying to make my sadness go away or offering some subtle teaching on the insubstantiality of the self or the empty-luminous nature of awareness.
He wasn’t hurling blessings at me so that my pain would be replaced by bliss. He had little interest in fixing or healing anything, but only to make sure I knew that he was right there me, holding my broken open heart close to his. In this own way pointing me back toward the shattered pieces which were somehow filled with wisdom and sacred data for the journey ahead.
He simply spent a moment with me, offering the gift of his presence—totally alive, totally vulnerable, and utterly human. Our meeting spanned a short period of time, but in another way seemed eternal. Those sorts of rare encounters, heart to heart, are precious, and not easily forgotten.
In my experience, the Dalai Lama is a holding environment of vast space and profound kindness; a mountain of love, really; a totally humble, open-hearted, incredibly warm, genuinely kind, authentic human being—someone I have so much to learn from.
May you live long, your Holiness! Thank you for the sweetness you once showed me, in a moment when I really needed it. I'll never forget that.