An Unexpected Invitation
I was speechless when I received an email from the office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, stating that I had been invited to a private audience with His Holiness The Dalai Lama. The message was short, just stating that there would be a meeting and that I was to report at the office of his personal secretary in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, India at 8 AM on a given day in early summer of 2019. I honestly never thought, I would get invited in the first place when I sent my letter to His Holiness. After all: Who was I to meet him? Why would he meet with someone like me – a non-Buddhist, not a celebrity, not a politician, not a public figure? I attribute the invitation to our mission at The Energy Paradigm: To help improve lives, one person, one team, one company at a time.
How I Prepared
Of course I wanted to show up prepared to meet with His Holiness. So I put together some talking points, including how to introduce myself and more importantly what our mission is at The Energy Paradigm. I included our mission statement, how we work with individuals, teams and organizations and what the underlying principles of our approach are such as bringing humanity to business and seeing the magic in people. I typed it all up and printed it out nicely on a piece of paper that I folded up in my jacket.
From Dharamshala to McLeod Ganj
The morning of the meeting I got up early as I was excited about what was to come. I could harldy eat any breakfast and set out from my hotel The Divine Hima in Dharamshala up the mountain towards McLeod Ganj. As requested, I reported at 8 AM – after a half-hour cab drive on steep mostly single lane roads up the mountain from Dharamshala to McLeoud Ganj, high up in the Himalayan foothills, where His Holiness resides when he is not traveling around the world. Once arrived, I was asked to wait… The wait was several hours long but I didn’t mind. It was a beautiful early summer day, the sun filtered through the leaves of the trees. Birds were singing and the atmosphere was very peaceful. And I was to meet with – in my eyes – one of the most influential people on Earth.
Meeting His Holiness
Time went by fast and I was soon called to meet with His Holiness. I quickly repeated in my talking points. As soon as I laid eyes on His Holiness, crossing his curious gaze looking at me through his thick glasses with almost childlike eyes, I was mesmerized, finding myself struck by his radiance. I forgot everything I wanted to say. I forgot why I was there. I forgot that I had a piece of paper in my jacket. I lost any feeling for time. I felt transported to another realm in the aura of this outstanding individual. A monk who had done his work, to radiate peace, compassion and kindness. The only words I could get out was “Thank you”. He then leaned forward and pulled my head to his so that our foreheads were touching. And while our foreheads were touching, he gave me a message.
A Heartfelt Message and Blessing
And as if he knew what I wanted to talk about, he answered the questions that I had written down on my piece of paper. His message as far as I recall was:
“Happiness cannot be bought. Anything we buy doesn’t make us happy. Billionaires are not happy. Possessions do not make us happy. True happiness can only come from inside. As long as we don’t have the happiness from our heart, we will not be able to relate to each other with kindness and compassion because we will automatically be suspicious of each other and live in mistrust. And that is the seed that disconnects people from each other.” – His Holiness, The Dalai Lama
His words echoed in me. It was truth spoken. With all the talk about employee engagement and happiness, we need to remind ourselves that none of that happens on the outside. Employee engagement, motivation and happiness cannot be bought. Those things can only happen on the inside. A ping pong table, pay raise or green juice is not going to fix a job that you hate. We need to go deeper – beyond any materialistic means. What we need to work and live from our heart. To relate and communicate with kindness and compassion (also for ourselves). That is the only true way how we can connect to ourselves and each other, bring peace to our work-lives and workplaces, to our loved ones and ultimately to the world. It starts with every single one of us. All seven billion people. From their heart. That is our responsibility to humanity.
And even though I might not be able to recall everything His Holiness said to me verbatim, I will never forget his piercing, inquisitive, curious and at the same time childlike eyes. And I will never forget the warmth of his radiance and truth of his blessing. A blessing that healed many things in me.
Giving On His Blessing
What His Holiness gave me that day was far more than an audience. He gave me a fatherly blessing, the kind I had not received in my life before. The kind that makes me feel that I’m ok the way I am. That I am loved no matter what. That I matter. That my life is not wasted. The kind that gives me hope that I am on the right path. The kind that helps me show up, step up and work my magic – to help others find theirs.
Now it is my responsibility to give that very blessing on – to everyone I meet with – to you, your team and your company.