I wonder how today’s exchange at MIT will shake up the wider Buddhist community in the US?

Audience member: “Can you give us an example of a leader we should look up to as a positive influence?”

Dalai Lama (after thinking for a few seconds): “President Bush. I met him personally and liked him very much. He was honest and straightforward, and that is very important. I may not have agreed with all his policies, but I thought he was very honest and a very good leader.”

To be fair, after he said, “I may not have agreed with all his policies,” according to one observer, the audience broke out into relieved laughter.

Relieved? Hmm. I’m fascinated by this. What kind of expectations do people put on the Dalai Lama that would lead to them feeling “relieved” once he offers the disclaimer on policy?

What do you think?

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