And not the old Spaniard with the moustachios, either. The real Dalai – the kindly chap from Tibet.

He’s not on the Christmas list for a present from the Chinese Communist party for a number of reasons:

a. They’re communists and don’t have Christmas.

b. He’s Buddhist and also doesn’t have Christmas.

c. They’ve got him on a different list…

Hint to his Holiness: don’t fly on a commercial airliner anywhere near Hainan Island. They have a history of air piracy for political purposes and have done it in the 1950’s.

But apart from the politics of the day, the Dalai Lama has a number of good things to say – and I read them with interest as often as I can. One of the best has helped me with many a difficult encounter.

He wrote that he benefits from walking with every person. From the good ones he can learn things to add to his life. From the others he can learn things to remove from it.

In both cases it is a passive lesson – he does not strive to praise or blame the other person – just to regulate his own behaviour. I think His Holiness may be something of a Stoic philosopher – he might do well setting up a school of philosophy under a big tree somewhere.

Hey, it’s worked before…

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