The 14th Dalai Lama


Ellen DeGeneres

One of my latest mental exercises is to think about which one person I would want to meet and share the day. This isn’t the first time I’ve devoted serious thought to the topic, and each time the same two people come up: the Dalai Lama and Ellen.

Of all the living people in the world, why these two? Because each of them brings me a feeling of happiness.

Consider the Dalai Lama: He has dedicated his entire life teaching people that loving oneself and each other brings happiness. He doesn’t care if you call yourself a Buddhist, Muslim, or atheist so long as you recognize your self-worth, practice compassion, and understand that you were put on this earth to be happy.

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” –Dalai Lama

The Art of Happiness, written by Howard C. Cutler and based on countless interviews with the Dalai Lama, sits permanently in my office book case so it can repeatedly be read. In this book, the Dalai Lama talks about the source of happiness stemming from our mental ability to control our perception of the reality we live in. “As long as there is lack of inner discipline that brings calmness of mind, no matter what external facilities or conditions you have, they will never give you the feeling of joy and happiness that you are seeking.”

The Dalai Lama’s words of wisdom resonate in my inner spirit generating warmth, compassion, patience, and a deep-seated sense of happiness.

What some of you may not know is that the Dalai Lama can be surprisingly funny. In the following eight minute video, you will hear the Dalai Lama talk about experiencing gas while on an airplane. I dare you to watch and not laugh! The first big laugh comes in around three minutes, and then he comes back to it again at the end where you can hear him giggling at his joke. I relish his laughter! Go ahead, take a few extra minutes and laugh with the Dalai Lama.

Then there’s Ellen… oh, Ellen! People automatically associate Ellen with comedy and I admit, I love how Ellen makes me laugh. She brings out these big, loud belly laughs that leave me feeling happy. Laughter is truly the best medicine.

What people may not realize about Ellen is that she is also deeply spiritual.

Ellen on life purpose:

“I work hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose…When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.”

Ellen on collective consciousness:

“I am saddened by how people treat one another and how we are so shut off from one another and how we judge one another, when the truth is, we are all one connect thing. We are all from the same exact molecules.”

Ellen on authenticity:

“Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth, and everything else will come.”

Ellen on paying attention to the little things:

“Right before I decided to come out, I went on a spiritual retreat called ‘Changing the Inner Dialogue of Your Subconscious Mind.” I’d never been to anything like it before…but for me, that was the beginning of paying attention to all the little things.”

Ellen on Day 1 of the Creation:

“In the beginning there was nothing. God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.”

Okay, so maybe the creation example was more on the funny side, but you get my point.

I regularly visit EllenTV to watch short clips from her show. Some of my favorites are of Ellen’s telephone calls with Gladys Hardy, an 88-year-old (and holding) in Austin, Texas. If you’ve never heard Ellen and Gladys chatting it up, you are in for a roaring good time.

This ongoing exercise leads me to believe that the Dalai Lama and Ellen are actually motivated by the same goal—helping people find joy and happiness. They may approach the end goal in different ways, but the feeling the listener is left with is an uplifting one that leaves a smile on the face and warmth in the heart. Whether you are listening to the Dalai Lama talk about how inner contentment leads to happiness or you’re rolling on the floor in tears over the latest Ellen episode, it’s that feeling of happiness we desire; those few moments when we let go and allow ourselves to be in the moment.

After great deliberation, I finally realized the answer to my question. If I’m with Ellen, I get a laughter-filled day and a deep spiritual exchange. If I’m with the Dalai Lama, I get a deep spiritual exchange and the threat of 14 incarnations of flatulence.

Hello? Ellen?

Photo credit HH 14-Dalai Lama

Photo credit Ellen

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