Documentary Galleries: Dalai Lama
On one of my recent visits to visit the Dalai Lama at his modest but modern home nestled in the forest overlooking the Kangra Valley, he greeted me warmly.
"Ah, you again," he exclaimed, taking my hand and holding it as we walked through his garden. He stopped to feed his pet parakeets, housed in spacious cages on his front lawn.
“These birds,” he sighed with exasperation. “We initially brought them here because they were injured. Now that they’re better I keep trying to set them free, but they keep coming back to me.”
"Maybe they’re someone you know, who’ve come back as parakeets,” I teased. “Everyone wants to be near the Dalai Lama. They probably missed you." We both laughed.
I apologized for taking his time from what is now an incredibly busy schedule of meetings. I wanted him to know that it was with good reason that I had arranged our meeting. I hadn’t come purely as a photojournalist, but I genuinely wanted to help him and his people. "Please know that I have the best of intentions," I assured him. He turned towards me suddenly, as if reading my eyes. Nobody has ever looked at me so deeply.
“Yes, I know. And good intent is very important. Most important in all that you do. Never forget. Whatever your actions, it’s the intention you hold in your heart that truly matters.”
We are human and we make mistakes. But his words have become an adage to live by, they have made me gentler towards others and myself.