holding hands with the Dalai Lama…

Posted on June 16th, 2011

I’m in “Dalai Lama” land right now. Yesterday I interviewed him and we had a giggle. Tomorrow I’m chairing the Happiness & It’s Causes conference where he’s the guest speaker.

In this shot (with the crew) he’s squeezing my hand over and over. And kept winking.

Then, a few hours later, in the hotel lobby where I was working on my laptop, he and his entourage flurried by and he gave me a double thumbs up and a big grin. It cracked me up.

Some of you have asked “what is he like”. It sounds sappy, but his energy is very magical. In an ordinary way. He doesn’t try, he doesn’t force, he doesn’t judge. He’s “a simple Buddhist monk” who gets it, gets us…this is a skill. A quality. He is able to tap into the Western malaise and give us the right kind of comfort (see my last interview with him 18 months ago to read what he says about our frantic efforts to “still the mind”…his response says it all).

I feel very, very lucky.

PS. I also had a lovely, warm chat with Matthieu Ricard today. It’s been all about the monks!


stop. ask… what’s the most important thing?

Posted on October 25th, 2010

Just a thought for this morning. It’s an old Buddhist story. Of a student who asked his teacher, “What’s the most important thing?”


The wise old teacher replies, “The most important thing is asking what’s the most important thing”.

Asking is engaging, caring, being alive, diving in. Not really knowing for sure – having an inkling in your heart – is what keeps us connected to each other, I think.

I’m a soul nerd. It hurts sometimes. Until I realised…

Posted on September 27th, 2010

“Literature is a yoga, a soulnerd’s intellectual-spiritual practice of contour-fitting what we know to what is so.”


I read this in a Psychology Today article this morning. It’s given me heart on this Monday morning after a night of not sleeping and feeling really very raw about how I’m “doing life”. The article is about evolutionary thinker Jeremy Sherman’s take on what it means to be spiritual, in the context of coping with our mortality.He identifies that spiritual can either mean:

1. adhering doggedly to a doctrine of some sort that provides the answers for you (and comfort), or

2. existing in the now, such that you “let go” of the notion of the future (and impending death).


But he also identifies a third way. That of the soul nerd. That of studying our predicament with considered curiosity. Read more