RED FEATHER LAKES – The attainment of peace is the Dalai Lama’s stated goal in life, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a sense of humor.
The Nobel laureate told a crowd gathered at the Pepsi Center on Sunday about how people often come up to him for a blessing, thinking he possesses healing power.
“Nonsense, I have no healing power,” he said through his interpreter. “I need some healing power. I have this skin problem, always itching, always itching. If you have healing power come help me, and then afterward some ointment.”
The crowd erupted in laughter.
Earlier in the day, the Dalai Lama was at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes.
“Wealth and fame are secondary, peace of mind is most important and this comes from compassion,” he said. “Nurture that seed of compassion that is in all religious traditions.”
Tenzin Gyatso – the 14th Dalai Lama – is both the head of state and spiritual leader of Tibet. Born to a farming family in 1935 in northeastern Tibet, the boy was recognized as being the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama.
In 1950, the Dalai Lama assumed complete political power, a year after China’s invasion of Tibet.
He participated in fruitless peace talks with Mao Zedong and other oppressive Chinese leaders, but fled into exile after the brutal suppression of the Tibetan national uprising by Chinese troops in 1959.
Since then, he has been living in northern India, where the Tibetan political administration was set up, and has appealed to the United Nations numerous times on the Tibet issue.
The Dalai Lama showed his human side as well on Sunday.
“Sometimes I lose my temper, sometimes I lose compassion,” he said. “I think most of my compassion comes from my mother.”
Dalai Lama T-shirts were selling like hotcakes at $25 a piece on Sunday at the Pepsi Center where the Tibetan leader addressed thousands of supporters.
At Red Feather Lakes, Queen Noor of Jordan attended the event.
“Compassion is a practice, peace is a practice,” she said. “It is not something to be attained, but to be practiced every day.”
The Dalai Lama said people never knowingly do evil.
“The problem is in their approach,” he said. “You must see the big picture. I believe that inside everybody’s head there is a distinction between right and wrong. I don’t believe anybody deliberately causes problems.”
The Dalai Lama said that human beings are selfish by their nature, but there’s a wise selfishness and a foolish selfishness.
“Taking care of others, you feel good: Wise selfish,” he said. “Never thinking of others, you feel alone: Foolish selfish.”
Laramie, Wyo., resident Martin Weaklin said hearing the Dalai Lama was an interesting experience, and he summed up the overall message: “It’s like that old John Lennon song, ‘Give Peace a Chance.'”
But to the Dalai Lama, Americans could either take or leave his message.
“If you like some of my points, take them, try them out in your daily life,” he said. “If not, forget it. I’m going home tomorrow.”
News managing editor Vimal Patel contributed to this report.
Staff writer Kevin Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.