His Holiness The Dalai Lama came to give a talk at my university to day. Unfortunately, since we're such a small university the auditorium is tiny. This means only a limited (and that might just be a generous term) number of students got seats.
I was not one of the fortunate.
However, though turned away from hearing him speak I was determined to at least catch a glimpse of him. This man, whose heart is full of love (with no room for anything other than love), is an icon of peace and tolerance. I knew, somehow, that to just see him would bring a, before unknown sense of peace to my heart.
So I found a pretty decent place to wait for him. Not in the main lobby by the auditorium like so many of my colleagues. I waited a little further back in another lobby (we have a lot of them). And that was the best decision I made today. There was no one else really in that place, just me and my thoughts about how simply amazing and influential this man is for the world.
So I waited a while, he was supposed to start talking at 2 and he didn't arrive until 2:30. Not that I'm judging - the security in the city has been crazy for his visit (he spoke a few other places over the weekend too). I mean, there were bomb sniffing dogs at my little university!
And then he showed up. It really was one of those moments that went by in slow-motion, but feels like a blur. Proceeded and followed by a small entourage of brightly dressed monks and some serious looking security guards, His Holiness walked arm and arm with our rector. And then, the magic happened.
He paused for a moment.
Turned and looked at me with a smile.
Giggled softly and waved at me.
And then he carried on with his processional to the auditorium.
This man, when he smiles, he smiles with every fiber of his being. I swear. He made me feel happy and content and at peace - all the way down to my pinky toes. I wanted to run to him, to hug him like a grandfather; just to be enveloped in that happiness forever.
How can one man's smile uplift your soul to such great heights?