The following are snippets of media reports of his visit:
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was trying very hard, to make the homeless guests at Martin's soup kitchen relax.
He put on a red and yellow tie-dyed apron to serve up the first plates of pesto pasta. He cracked jokes about what a relief it was to be among rich people who hang on his every word. He broke bread with seven down-and-out men, telling stories and making fun of his English — or lack thereof.
Finally, the head of Tibet's government in exile and one of the most significant spiritual leaders in the world tried this:
"You know," he said, "I'm homeless too."
The Dalai Lama was on his second day of a weekend swing through the San Francisco Bay area to talk peace and call attention to the plight of the nation's poor. His visit, arranged by The Forgotten International, a nonprofit that promotes helping the world's poorest people, was two years in the making.
The Dalai Lama beamed and grinned impishly throughout his hour-long visit to Martin's — formally, Martin de Porres House of Hospitality — rooted in the Catholic Worker movement.
"I'm really happy for the opportunity to visit," he said, offering words of encouragement to the approximately 100 guests and volunteers at the Sunday lunch.
"Our lives depend on others," said the Dalai Lama. "Me too. My life depends on others. You are still in human society, human community. Please feel happy and feel dignity."
The guests included some of San Francisco's most desperate, reviled citizens, men and women who carry their life's possessions in shopping carts and sleep under bridges.
A few weeks, later, the Dalai Lama had some imaginative ideas for MIT scientists to work for peace.
"You could invent an injection for compassion," he said. "I would want that." And maybe commerce could contribute: "You could have shops selling compassion. In a supermarket, you could buy compassion."
A student asked about ethics and the weapons industry. The Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his non-violent campaign for Tibetan rights, said he hoped this would be the century for global demilitarization. But a good start, he said, would be for institutions like MIT to invent a bullet "that misses ordinary people but hits the decision makers," waving his arm in the path of a wiggling bullet to laughter and applause. "That kind of bullet needs to be developed. Wonderful."
Talk about compassion & grace.... serving meals in a soup kitchen & declaring his understanding by making the comparison that he too is homeless.
***Link to a sweet picture of The Dalai Lama serving meals @ the soup kitchen