About eight years ago, in a review of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's book Beyond Religion, I wrote:
The Dalai Lama is one of the most misunderstood public figures, and he is misunderstood in two major ways. His fame as a spiritual teacher, combined with the warmth of his huge personality, makes it possible for people to enjoy his presence without actually hearing what he says, and so many of his fans experience him as a cuddly enabler along the lines of Thich Nhat Hanh or Deepak Chopra. In actuality, he is as far from Oprah Winfrey as fire is from ice. He is a deeply serious, tough-minded practitioner and teacher of a shockingly harsh and demanding religious discipline.
I still stand by those words, so from comments he's made recently, it seems clear he's now a few beads short of a mala:
The interviewer, the BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan, pointed out the campaign for Britain to leave the EU used one of the Dalai Lama’s quotes about migration to Europe as part of its campaign. “The goal should be that migrants return and help rebuild their countries. You have to be practical. It’s impossible for everyone to come,” he had said.
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