Still young at 81, it’s to do with peace of mind: Dalai Lama

Eighty-one and still young. The Dalai Lama believes it’s to do with peace of mind.

Turning 81 on July 6, his age is no bar to campaign for global peace, happiness and, of course, saving the small blue planet from the effects of climate change.

His Holiness, an honorific given by his followers, starts his day as early as three in the morning with prayers and meditation, say his aides.

After that, he takes a short morning stroll in his official palace or even loves to trudge on a treadmill to stay fit.

“He attends his office from 12.30 p.m. until around 3.30 p.m. He normally retires in the evening by 7,” Tenzin Taklha, joint secretary at the Dalai Lama’s office, said.

For breakfast, the Dalai Lama typically has hot porridge, tsampa (barley powder), bread with preserves, and tea. Lunch is served at 11.30 a.m.

Strictly vegetarian, when in Dharamsala, the globetrotting Buddhist monk, known for wearing his trademark maroon robes, drinks a cup of tea at 5.30 p.m. He does not have dinner. Before retiring for the night, he prays and meditates for two hours.

Taklha says his daily schedule changes if he’s travelling out of Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile he once headed.

“When I was on my way to the US, at Heathrow airport, someone told me that although I’m now 81, my face looks only that of a 60-year-old and asked what’s the secret,” a post on his website quoting the Dalai Lama said.

“I personally find analytical meditation more effective and more satisfying,” the elderly monk told US pop diva Lady Gaga in an interview for her Facebook live broadcast in the US last week (June 26).

At a public talk in the US last week, he jokingly said: “Sometimes I tease young women who go to such lengths to make themselves beautiful. But the important thing is that while it’s fine to look good, what’s even more important than external beauty is the inner beauty of having a warm heart.”


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