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17.10.2016
Cosmetic surgery?


The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of all Tibetans, addressed representatives of other religions, city officials and the wider congregation at a special service in the Grossmünster on Saturday.
 
As the journalist of the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper who wrote this article mentioned, he could not help but notice how youthful the leader appeared, despite his 81 years. What was equally evident is that, despite his many years of living in exile in India, he has kept his sense of humour and unmistakable loud laugh.
 
Some 2,000 people had come to hear him, with 1,400 able to get a seat in the Grossmünster, the remaining 600 able to follow the service on large screens outside.
 
Among the dignitaries attending were Mario Fehr, the head of the Zurich cantonal government. It was when he was a member of the National Council in Bern that he was also president of the Tibet Group, which meant he had been able to meet the Dalai Lama on a previous occasion. Also present, of course, was Corinne Mauch, the mayoress of the city of Zurich, and Richard Wolff, the head of public safety. It was mentioned that, initially, the city council would not be there to meet the Dalai Lama, as the event was taking place in the autumn holidays, but then they had a change of heart. This article pointed out that their delayed decision to attend had nothing to do with a protest from the Chinese general consulate, with the council saying that it, itself, decided on whom they would meet, and not anyone else.
 
Also meeting the Tibetan leader again was Winterthur photographer Manuel Bauer, who presented the guest with a silk scarf and which was gratefully received. Bauer has been accompanying the Dalai Lama on long journeys for many decades, not least to record his visits to Tibetan refugee camps and other Buddhist communities around the world.
 
There were plenty of other photographers also present as the leader made his way to the altar, where he met up with a rabbi, an imam and representatives of the Hindu, Roman Catholic and Protestant communities. “Let us remember that, at this very moment, many people are enduring terrible times, unfortunately often in the name of religion,” the Dalai Lama said.
 
He went on to appeal to those present to become involved in ensuring peace prevailed and place greater importance on inner, rather than external values. 
 
In addition to making serious and heartfelt statements such as this, the Dalai Lama is equally known for his sense of humour, only too evident as he went on to say, “Taking care of inner values and striving for inner peace is very good for one’s external appearance. After all, look at me, I have hardly changed at all over the past 20 years and this without ever having cosmetic surgery.” As to his own recipe for a youthful looks, the Dalai Lama said this could be achieved through meditation, finding inner peace and approaching people with a smile on your face.
 
The Tibetan leader is now continuing his European tour in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Italy.
 


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