I’ve had an ongoing fascination with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama since college. I’ve studied his life, read his books, and watched Kundun, the breathtaking Martin Scorsese flick about the man whom many consider to be the living reincarnation of Buddha, countless times. I’ve quizzed my friends who have had the privilege of meeting him, imploring them to share every detail. One of my dearest pals has a photo of the exact moment when she was in the presence of the Dalai Lama (he’s smiling, of course; her head is bowed slightly; she wears a white scarf). The photo is framed and visible from her kitchen table, and I stare at it whenever I visit. We’ve passed several hours at that kitchen table, and I’m sure she thinks we have deeply meaningful conversations wherein I listen intently- but, truthfully, I’m gazing at “14,” hearing nary a peep, and merely inserting a few well-timed nods when necessary. OK, slight exaggeration (particularly since my pal could be reading this). But, you get the point. I’m enthralled.
You can imagine my glee when the Dalai Lama, himself, joined Twitter last week and started following me. Surely, it was just an automated nicety, wherein he returns the favor to everyone that opts to follow updates and insights from the office of His Holiness (HH), but I still experienced a glimmer of joy knowing that the Dalai Lama or, at the very least, someone who manages his online image would possibly see an update from Om Gal. Maybe I’d give this person a chuckle (have you heard the Dalai Lama’s laugh, by the way? It’s phenomenal and famous all by itself). Maybe the throngs of followers of my favorite monk would tune into my “tweets” as well? No doubt, HH would soon be sending me a direct message (“dm”) to see if I wanted to have a cup of tea and talk about world peace. Friends would visit my home and remark on the framed photograph on my wall, and I would nonchalantly say, “Oh, that one? That was taken at a Sox game. HH loves the Red Sox now.”
Alas, these were the far-flung cyber-space dreams of a gal gone a tad bit ta-ta. Even the folks at Twitter sensed that something was up, so they investigated the identity of the profile claiming to be maintained by the office of His Holiness, discovered it was a farce (bad karma, dude!), and suspended the account. Check out the article for yourself, here.
So, I’m not following the Dalai Lama; I never was, nor was he following me. Instead, I’m probably receiving updates from some random, half-crazed fan, who toils away in the blogosphere day and night. I mean, what the heck would I have in common with a person like that?
Postscript: The Dalai Lama plans to visit Boston (Gillette Stadium, May 2) this spring. He has no plans to have tea with Om Gal.