Wishing His Holiness the Dalai Lama a joyful 78th birthday today, and praying for his long life! I’ll never forget the one and only time I met the Dalai Lama, at his residence in Dharamsala many years ago. I was quite young, coming off a difficult break-up, and broken wide open alone in the mountains of northern India, just sort of wandering from place to place. He held my hand and just looked at me. He wasn’t scrambling to try to make my heartbreak go away, he wasn’t playing the wise guru offering me some subtle teaching on the empty-luminous ground of awareness, he wasn’t hurling blessings at me so that all would be made right and I could enter into some other state of consciousness. He simply spent a moment with me, all the way through, totally human, fully there with everything in the space between us. It was a short moment of time, but in another way it was totally eternal; those sorts of rare meetings, heart to heart, are rare and precious, and not easily forgotten. In my experience, the Dalai Lama is a holding environment of love, in and of himself; a totally real, humble, open-hearted, incredibly warm, authentic human being. May you live long, your Holiness!