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: 

Image: Christopher Michel/Flickr


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

  1. […] via Elephant Journal […]

  2. […] Someone asked the Dalai Lama what surprises him most. This was his response. | elephant journal. […]

  3. […] first learned about the 6th Dalai Lama at a café in Lhasa while I enjoyed a Lhasa Beer. To be honest, I preferred the name Lhasa Beer and […]

  4. Carly says:

    In regards to most people living above the poverty that still work themselves to near death so they can pay homage to their god of consumerism, they ARE working past the need of simply feeding themselves. This makes us different. No cow ever chose a plasma screen over their ability to eat and keep themselves healthy.

  5. […] the Dalai Lama elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create […]

  6. Teri Dillion says:

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

  7. Dax says:

    Yeah, his reply was shite, but he makes great subs.

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

  9. 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.

  10. m Andrea says:

    Actually it does matter who said it. If the DL didn’t really say it, then putting words in his mouth is wrong.

    And if the site which published incorrect information doesn’t care to check their sources, then that lack of concern for authenticity seriously downgrades the credibility of this site.

    It’s a good quote and I like it but far too often “great men” turn out to be sexist pigs.

  11. Patrick says:

    You obviously have limited understanding of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, and Buddhism… try doing a little research.

  12. L knowles says:

    This was enjoyed1

  13. 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

  14. YOuvelostyourself says:

    how do you know that? cows roam looking for greener pastures. they don't stay in a brown grass less field.

  15. YOuvelostyourself says:

    oh so true. oh so true.

  16. whyvote says:

    your vote means nothing. this is why people don't vote. get your story straight.

  17. guest says:

    yeah, from a euro-american perspective I would have to disagree. However, having a lot of chinese friends and students, I've come to learn that there is more to that than Americans and Europeans see.The Dalai Lama is not everywhere know as a peaceful protector (or whatever) of Tibet, to many he is the opposite.

  18. guest says:

    no worries, people need those feel-good quotes. (just like a Happy meal once in a while)

  19. guest says:

    yeah, that doesn't make the Dalai Lama a good person. But keep believing in your Tibetan-American propaganda

  20. Ron Ledford says:

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

  21. Unfortunately, the Chinese gov't has a very active program of people paid to write comments like this. Blog moderators need to just remove such comments when they aren't sincere about adding to the discussion.

  22. […] 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… […]

  23. […] 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+ […]

  24. Donna says:

    Similar to "Today is the first day of the rest of your life"

  25. 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.

  26. Jerry Olwell says:

    I think God created man

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. Baek says:

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

  30. Charl says:

    Right on. I'm with you there. At least they are looking at the site and hopefully something sticks.

  31. Charl says:

    Sorry you are wrong. God created man…but one day you'll see that. So don't stress about it now…it will happen for you.

  32. sockase1 says:

    this looks like it is adapted from Dr. Moorehead, minister, author, and former pastor of Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, Washington.

  33. 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.

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

  35. Kat says:

    food for thought: do you have any idea how many jerks have been trying to harm the Dalai Lama and his family and his followers, his whole life? just an entire government! i do hear your point, but just wanted to say that sometimes that certainly applies, but not as much with the Dalai Lama as with many other people in positions such as his. thanks!

  36. james says:

    yeah, im thinking the Dalai Lama didn't say this. Couldn't find anything on snopes…
    seems like a spiritual happy meal to me. Besides, the quote doesn't really help. it says a lot, but (as Lao tzu would have you know) saying a lot does not mean helpful.

  37. […] 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 […]

  38. 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!

  39. 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

  40. anon says:

    I would explain this to god by saying if you designed me, than you designed me to think and live by what i can prove and is logical not by what was written two thousand years ago by shepards in another language than translated and changed to support the current politcal views.

  41. 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.

  42. arif says:

    exactly exactly and 100 percent true

  43. Greg Eckard says:

    very eloquent quote. Carpe Diem!

  44. elephantjournal says:

    Hah…well played, Pirtath.

  45. elephantjournal says:

    Riiiight. The Dalai Lama has it easy.

    I have no problem with him making a living. He offers far more than many of us. ~ Waylon

  46. Sunil says:

    Buddhism is a religion. Unfortunately, the term "religion" as used in the West is a limiting word to the Eastern mind. It is a way of life, a practice.

  47. Sunil says:

    Good point. The quote is indicative on a how a majority of us live our lives, and it is easier distract ourselves from the truths of this quote then face the fatal flaws in our lifestyles.

  48. pjb says:

    your making a flawed conclusion that organized religion and faith in god are one in the same. to discount a higher spiritual consciousness as mere man made fiction, is as ignorant, and close minded as people who follow an organized religion to the letter of their man made documents.

  49. monarcha says: