The Dalai Lama in Santa Clara Feb 24 2014

Yesterday, I didn’t know that I was going to see the Dalai Lama today. I didn’t even know the Dalai Lama was in the Bay Area for a 3 day visit, ending in Santa Clara University with an event entitled “Business, Ethics, and Compassion. A dialogue with the Dalai Lama”.

I have never met the Dalai Lama before. It was a “premiere” for me. And I just love the way things unfolded.

Thanks to Fiona W. who kindly offered her 2 tickets, I was able to go. She couldn’t attend the event but Philippe and I could. (We were the lucky ones.) Even though we have been practicing in the same room for several months, I barely knew Fiona. It’s funny how you never really get to speak to someone at practice unless you finish at the same time.  We talked a little though, a couple of weeks ago. It was about meditation and Buddhism…



A large crowd was to be expected. The organizers asked people to arrive 2 hours before the event, but we didn’t follow their advice. We started the day with our early morning practice, as usual. We told ourselves that the Dalai Lama would have been proud of us…

We managed to arrive on time. As much as it was crowded, it was a well organized, peaceful crowd. How different could it be?

To entertain us while waiting, some Buddhist monks chanted in a deep, low-pitched voice. The equivalent of our opening chant in some way. We felt at home.


Then, His Holiness arrived. Everybody stood up, but he warned us with a firm “Sit down, sit down”. Lots of laughs. Laughs again when he put on the Santa Clara University hat (matching the traditional Buddhist robe!).


The Dalai Lama laughed too, at multiple occasions. A sincere, authentic, and contagious laugh. I was astonished by his simplicity.

What to say about the speech itself? That I barely understood what he said. Partly because his voice was low, partly because his English was not perfect, and partly because MY English is even worse.

The speech was recorded though. You can listen to it here.

Thanks again Fiona for letting us enjoy this rare opportunity to experience the Dalai Lama’s wisdom.


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