Someone asked the Dalai Lama (?) what surprises him most. This was his response.

Via elephant journal
on Jul 31, 2011
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Update: there’s a ton of discussion in comments, as well as elsewhere online, about who said this. What is clear is that the Dalai Lama said something very near to this (he does not speak fluent English). See comments. In any case, it’s quote or sentiment we appreciate, and the 2.0 nature of the internet, in this case, has only served to improve the original, simple offering that is this inspiring quote. ~ ed.

I got chills reading this. Dalai Lama? Nailed it!

Via Reddit.


How We Can (Quickly) Wake Up Our Minds to the Present Moment: 

3 Buddhist Tips for Living Life: 


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137 Responses to “Someone asked the Dalai Lama (?) what surprises him most. This was his response.”

  1. Fuck Tibet says:

    I think dalai lama should live like a buddhit and leave behind his attachment with tibet.

  2. Guest says:

    Where did the Dalai Lama say this? The concepts sounds like his, but this does not really sound like a direct quote. Please let me know where this quote came from? Lots of things get sent around the Internet and accredited to the Dalai Lama, many of which he never said. I think it is important to make sure it is something he actually said. I look forward to a reply. Thanks.

  3. jimmyjohn says:

    That quote is to spiritual living as a Happy Meal is to nutrition.

  4. BeBe says:

    It so sad to see so much negativity and judgement from people who do not have the truth and knowledge before they simply make such comments. Shocked at such low self respect to call themselves such names. So, sad………… But at least they are looking at this site, so maybe there is hope?!

  5. miss a treehugger says:

    wise words it could have come from anybody it doesn't take away the importance and truth in it! It would be a shame if the Dalai Lama is connected to it falsely as it takes away credibility to the cause of sharing the truth and making people realise that there is a better way to live

  6. JC Curtis says:

    Don’t really know what would surprise the Dali Lama but did he shout “NOT NOW KATO !” ?

  7. steven says:

    it doesnt matter if he said this in these words or not but he has said this many times in many other words. its up to us to think about the thought and try to be more present. one doesnt have to be a buddhist to believe this. its all about a more peaceful and gentle world. if someone has a better answer or message let's hear it. in our lifetime he is a great man, even though i do not believe in following any one person.

  8. Bulbul says:

    man sacrifices health TO LIVE BY FEEDING HIMSELF. many animals sacrifice their health for food (i.e. foraging) how does this make us any different. dalai lama is as fake as they come

  9. joe olausen says:

    The people were slaves to the Dalai Lama before he fled to India. All religions promise a paradise to their believers whom noone could prove, not the living anyway.Man created the gods and this is certain.

  10. Guest says:

    To Joe Olausen….I'd love to see you when you try to explain this to God…

  11. queen says:

    god has been so wonderful

  12. guest says:

    Dolly Llama lolololol

  13. elephantjournal says:

    Evelyn Ruut A friend of mine insisted that this sounded like it was not an authentic quote. I shared it which started the discussion. Any particular reference available that might authenticate it?

    # It does sound edited, which all of the Dalai Lama's writings and talks in English are…he has limited, simple English. The above is simply put, and consistent with Buddhist thought…seemed real to me, and I'm a Buddhist. That said, if you have another source, let us know and we'd correct. That said, in any case, the point above remains just as powerful and touching whomever uttered it—Buddhism isn't about gods, it's about all of us having inherent wisdom and insight. ~ W.

  14. Zenslinger says:

    Here is another quote that is of a similar nature… attributed to the Dalai Lama

    We have bigger houses but smaller families:
    We have more degrees but less sense;
    more knowledge but less judgements;
    more experts but more problems;
    more medicines, but less healthiness.
    We've been all the way to the moon and back,
    but we have trouble crossing the street
    to meet the new neighbour.
    We build more computers
    to hold more information,
    to produce more copies than ever,
    but we have less communication.
    We have become long on quantity
    but short on quality.
    These are times of fast foods,
    but slow digestion;
    tall man, but short character;
    steep profits, but shallow relationships.
    It is time when there is much in the window
    but nothing in the room.

  15. Zenslinger says:

    This quote is pointing out the hampster wheel of karma that we are on. Timely, and the logic is farely inarguable as far as I'm concerned.

  16. Rojomo says:

    Not all men Mr.Lama

  17. Scott K says:

    I believe that some may be forgetting that the Dalai Lama is a "modern man". One born in this age and tied to it intellectually as well as spiritually. His language has always been both a reflection of the times and ancient wisdoms. What some maybe confusing is the difference between Buddha and the Dalai Lama.

  18. This is so true! To get out of this loop we have the option of finding the core of peace. What toughts and state of being do we need to be in to know the truth of this peaceful state?

  19. sean says:

    You know what really surprises the Dalai Lama? When someone spills hot coffee on his robe

  20. Ernie says:

    This is not the dalai lama's, this is from a website called the interview with god. Nice stuff though.

  21. Jean LeBlanc says:

    Oh, how Thoreauvian! Frankly, I couldn't care if Thoreau, the Dalai Lama, a Romanian writer, or Bugs Bunny said it: the important thing is the message (though I must admit, I kinda wish it was Bugs Bunny).

    Thanks for posting this wonderful quote Waylon!

  22. Kenyetta S. Rose says:

    In the words of the great Eddie Griffin "Fuck the messenger, did ya get the message?"

  23. Geez, people–
    Who gives a s@&t who said it?
    Look inward–DOES IT APPLY TO YOU?
    What surprises me most about most people is their fetish for focusing on anything but that which would truly serve their growth.
    Yet, we teachers (and bloggers) soldier on…

  24. […] via Elephant Journal […]

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  28. Teri Dillion says:

    Elegantly said. If only we all knew how to truly live in the present.

  29. […] from Elephant Journal (thank […]

  30. Guest says:

    Awfully easy to say stuff like that when you have a nation walking around behind you to dress you, feed you, house you and pray to you. The rest of us have to work to live. The rest of us have to put up with jerks who will try to harm us. In short, the rest of us aren't the dalai lama.

  31. L knowles says:

    This was enjoyed1

  32. canna says:

    Should be,
    Man lives knowing he is one day going to die so lives life in the present to the full making him relaxed to look to the past and would never sacrifice his health for wealth
    DaLee Lama haha

  33. Ron Ledford says:

    That was a Happy Meal quote: Sounds Good, Not good for ya!

  34. […] On and On by Mission to the Sea Someone asked the Dalai Lama what surprises him most. This was his response: “Man, because he sacr… […]

  35. […] More. Waylon Lewis, founder of & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green content two years running, Changemaker and Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards & Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | | | | | Google+ […]

  36. Deborah says:

    It sounds like something I read in "Finding Happiness in a Troubled World"– I think that was the title. I don't own the book, but read it a few months back, as I had checked it out from the library. It is a book based on a series of interviews with his holiness over a period of a couple of years. The writer both quoted and paraphrased the lama, and specified when doing so. If you wish to find the source so desperately, you may try this publication. It shouldn't be difficult to locate.

  37. pirtath says:

    I just read a post that the Dalai Lama wrote. It's short but up front.

    "I believe China is doing the right thing. If the Tibetans would realize that India is such a greater life then there they would move out also. And never return as I have."

    It's true he said it.

  38. Joshua Hayes says:

    True nuff, but i think the 'meme' has been travelling around the net for some time…it used to be attributed to George Carlin!

  39. Baek says:

    In other words "They are not conscious human beings but still only animals!

  40. mmillr says:

    Noticed there was some question as to the origins of this quote, regardless of its source one of the problems with such comments is SO WHAT DO YOU DO NEXT? Anyone can with the greatest poetry declare that the world is going to heck in a handbasket BUT WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT?! If this quote is from the Dalai Lama and if it leads to the answer to that question then I think he has succeeded.

  41. […] However, the Dalai Lama also owns the record for the most effective use of 66 words. Click here to read. […]

  42. […] powers we have to understand that with it comes great responsibility. Perhaps we should listen to Dalai Lama when he says: “Too much time is spent in your world developing the mind – develop the […]

  43. Chispa says:

    Well The Dalai Lama DID say that Buddhism is a work in progress and that if anything is proved that is the opposite of Buddhist beliefs, that Buddhism would change (my paraphrase not his exact statement- just to avoid the nonsense). So it seems to me that he wouldn't be disturbed by cobbled together pieces of what he said creating a quote such as this 66 word one.

    And he also has said in many ways at many different times that the Chinese invasion of Tibet and the diaspora of the Buddhists (not the Tibetan people, the monks) could be viewed as karma because of the corruption and greed that was present and had in the past been present within the monasteries and among the monks.

    I hope he does live into his 90's and that after death he does reincarnate in the western world – as my neighbor!

  44. Calvin says:

    if im living in the now, life on the pursuit of love & happiness with my heart & mind over money any given damn day: may i please use your meaningful artwork of the dalai lama @ his finest next to this photo below in my novel, 2012 G. Code.

    I am not writing the book to make $ but for the good of man and woman of this beloved planet, 12/21/12 = renaissance and I’m voicing the change that can truly help “we the people” of this glorious earth, if given permission to use this I can send you a copy with 3 options of reimbursement

  45. Barreto says:

    If he did or did not say it, it doesn't matter as long as it's an amazing quote along the way.

  46. arif says:

    exactly exactly and 100 percent true

  47. Greg Eckard says:

    very eloquent quote. Carpe Diem!

  48. Janus says:

    The purpose of sharing this post is to inspire people, not to start an argument. It also serves to wake us up, if we want to be waken. Great stuff!

  49. Naomi says:

    The Dalai Lama never said this. You should check first before attributing this stuff to him. It sells but it's not the truth.

  50. Anders says:

    This is obviously a hoax. The Dalai Lama would say anything as moralistic and condescending as this. I am, to be honest, surprised any Buddhist would fall for it.

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