Sunday, November 18, 2007

Meeting The Dalai Lama - Dr. Howard Cutler

I remember when I finally walked into the room to meet him he reached out to shake my hand and so graciously just said, 'Welcome to my home please sit down.' He completely put me at my ease. I was thunderstruck -- I expected somebody very regal, maybe a little bit aloof, on a higher plane than the rest of us. But he seemed so down to earth, so genuine and sincere and humble. He just seemed like an ordinary guy. He relates to people on that level, just like one human being to another.

As a friend of mine once described it, when you first meet him you expect to see the perfect king, the perfect ruler -- but instead what you see is the perfect servant. In terms of his personal qualities he's very smart -- he has a very quick mind, a very analytical mind, and a great sense of humor. Sometimes he's just broken up with laughter so that it takes a minute or two for him to settle down and stop chuckling so we can move forward and resume our conversation. He just has a very practical down-to-earth approach to life.

Also, he seems to be the same no matter where he is and no matter who he's with. He doesn't behave differently in front of the Tibetans or his staff, differently than when he might be meeting President Bush or leaders of Congress or that type of thing. You know how some people have their professional personality and then their off-duty personality. But he's the same wherever he goes, in any context, in any setting.

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