Seven years in Helsinki (of waiting to see Dalai Lama)

Helsinki, 17 degrees

In senior high school when I had a course of history where we had a chance to study a non European country, I made a choice that with time came to change my way of looking at the world. I chose to study Tibet. In order to write this short essay, I did a lot of research which opened my eyes for the situation in that region. Ever since that moment, I've wanted to see the Dalai Lama. It only took seven years for my dream to come true!

It seems I missed him the last time he came to Finland due to the fact that I was at the time in Italy. I went during my time in Italy though to a photo exhibition discussing the situation in Tibet.

Now last Saturday I finally had to chance to see him in our neighboring city Espoo.

 Source: WriteSpirit

Dalai Lama was somewhat what I had expected. From all the texts I've read about him and all the images I've seen of him, I've always had a very sympathetic picture of him. It couldn't prepare me though for the reality: he just exuded wisdom and kindness. I've never seen a more good-hearted 76-year-old. A true teacher of life. During the one and a half hour that I heard him speak, he chose to not speak of politics but focuse on the philosophy he believes in. He laughed many times, and had the most heart warming laughter.

 Source: Amazon

I've wondered many times why I became so fascinated with this region in 2004. I guess the huge contrast between the hectic urban life I lead and the slow traditional rural life that I comprehended that the Tibetan buddhists have stroke me at that time. In the end we all seek inner peace, right? I think it is always impressing when somebody has reached happiness and harmony.

I think the fact that Dalai Lama has endured so many difficulties and still can manage to speak in front of thousands of people with a convincing smile upon his face is worth everybody's respect. Hopefully I will one day have the chance to come in contact with the Tibetan culture by vising the region and walk in the footsteps of my as good as namesake Heinrich Harrer.

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