The Dalai Lama’s martial artistry

Seeing him for the first time, on the video of his talk on ethics at UC Santa Barbara, I was surprised, though perhaps should not have been, to find that the Dalai Lama moves with the presence of a trained martial artist or dancer. Watch his centered hand gestures. Through them he conveys a large part of his message. Where did he learn how to do that? It reflects long, physical practice. I found myself so absorbed in his gestures that at times I didn’t hear his words, and we had to replay them. For the Dalai Lama, physical as well as mental balance is essential for his effective public leadership.

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