The Dalai Lama Is Listening

"He just holds your hands and looks at you as if he would listen to you forever."

He was, of course, kind and attentive. Or maybe his attention is what made him seem so kind.

“Did you see that?” a woman in front of me marveled to her friend, fingering the white silk scarf that she had offered to the Dalai Lama and that he, in turn, had placed back around her shoulders as a kind of blessing.

“He just holds your hands and looks at you as if he would listen to you forever.”

My wife was also in front of me in the line winding past His Holiness, who was receiving guests before his speech at a benefit dinner in Hollywood. When my turn came, he smiled and said, “Ah, yes, Brussels…,” echoing my wife’s brief mention of some Tibetan friends in Belgium.

Then he looked at me, too, as if he was ready to listen forever. But the dinner was starting soon, and as we all moved toward the auditorium someone wondered aloud at the irony of seeing Sharon Stone and the Dalai Lama in the same town, let alone the same building.

“Honey,” said Bonnie Raitt, with gentle correction, “you should never try to judge a person’s spiritual life just by the way they look.”

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