Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits


Yes, I Met the Dalai Lama.

June 11th, 2015

Episode 71 of 540 episodes

I’m in Sydney, Australia for the Happiness and Its Causes conference. I’ve never been to Australia before, so that’s terrific, and I love being at the conference. As I mentioned a few days ago, I was also excited to be meeting the Dalai Lama. I’d been thinking about what question to ask him, if the opportunity arose. I’d decided to ask, “What one habit do you think people should follow, in order to be happier?” But when the moment came, there were several people around, and I was worried about shoving my way into the conversation. I wanted to ask a question, but I felt sheepish — it seemed somehow very self-serving to do it. Also, I have a friend who’s a devout Buddhist, and I really wanted to present the traditional white scarf (a kata) to the Dalai Lama, to ask him to bless it for her and her family. So when I had the opportunity to stick my oar in, that’s what I did. One notable thing: very intense eye-contact. As we all turned to go to the main conference event, I had that let-down, disappointed-in-myself feeling that I used to get when I was too scared to raise my ...

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