When I had the privilege to encounter His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Regis University years ago, I was struck by one thing. His incredible joy.

The Dalai Lama radiated a jolt of joy straight to my heart when he passed through the doors of the small auditorium into the gaggle of reporters awaiting him. It was astonishing. And during the next hour I went on a joyride, along with everyone in the room. The Dalai Lama does that to people.

And that’s the essential thing about His Holiness. He puts compassion into practice. When a reporter asked how to handle a dispute he was having with a neighbor who was causing him anxiety, he said, “Smile at him.”

He also has a sense of humor. “He will wonder why you are smiling at him,” he told the reporter, “and then he will be the one who is anxious and his hair will be falling out!”

“I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend,” the Dalai Lama has said. “This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness. It is the practice of compassion.”

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader is speaking Oct. 20-21 on the CU Boulder campus. His public talks and teachings, co-sponsored by the Tibetan Association of Colorado and the university, will be livestreamed for the many people who couldn’t get a ticket to his appearances, which sold out in mere minutes.

Editor’s note: The Dalai Lama’s October visit has been cancelled for medical reasons. See the note at the bottom of this article for links to two websites that would carry news of future events—www.dalailama.com and www.coloradotibetans.org

A Buddhist nun who helps organize the Dalai Lama’s trips recalls a visit His Holiness made to a Washington, D.C., shelter for homeless women, where she was giving a weekly meditation class. She invited the women to briefly meet the Dalai Lama before his talk for the World Bank president and other dignitaries. There were hugs all around and the women kissed his cheek. “When I look at you, I have this reflection: I’m homeless, too,” the Dalai Lama told the women. “Don’t you ever let them tell you you’re less than anyone else.”

After his talk, the nun continues, His Holiness circled back to the street women to say meeting them had been the high point of his day. “The way you have responded to me makes me open my heart more,” the Dalai Lama said. “This increases my compassion, and that means I bow to you as my teachers.”

“And they hugged again,” the nun says. “He does something to people!”

Indeed he does.

—Carol Brock

Editor’s Note: At press time, it was undecided which website(s) would stream the Dalai Lama’s talks, but they will be on either www.dalailama.com, www.colorado.edu, or www.coloradotibetans.org, a site dedicated to the 300 Tibetans who have made Colorado their home in exile. If community gatherings are organized in time for people to watch livestreams together, information will be posted on the Events page of the website www.DalaiLamaColorado.com.