What the Aussie cricket team asked the Dalai Lama
THE Dalai Lama has offered David Warner and Steve Smith advice on attaining peace of mind and improving sleep ahead of the fourth and final Test against India.
His Holiness met with Australia's cricketers in his adopted home of Dharamsala, the venue for the Border-Gavaskar series decider, and streamed the hour-long session on his 13 million strong Facebook account.
In a wide-ranging discussion, the Dalai Lama described himself as a Marxist and covered topics including China's occupation of his homeland Tibet, his enduring friendship with George W. Bush and the tranquillity of feeding birds out of his hand.
And the Australians may well have provided a telling insight into their frames of mind when Warner, in the midst of a form slump, asked His Holiness a question about peace of mind and Smith, who has been in the crosshairs of the India's cricketers and media for a month, requested sleeping tips.
On the topic of cricket, His Holiness offered: "I know less than zero."
After opening the floor to questions, Warner was first to take up the microphone.
"His Holiness, how important is it to have peace of mind?" Warner asked.
The Dalai Lama replied: "You yourself (should) experiment.
"The day you met some of your trusted friends and spent some moment or with lunch or a few drinks, I think that day you feel happier," His Holiness continued.
"And then one day you see you met someone, you feel uncomfortable, the whole day you feel not very happy.
"So physically nothing changed but mentally it makes differences.
"And then the unhappy day you may drink more like that. So then you may start quarrel with your wife.
"So peace of mind is very, very important.
"I think animals, they have no language, but they also love peace of mind.
"But since we have much sophisticated interests, much sophisticated brains, brains I think have the ability to create more disturbances or create peaceful mind.
"Animals have not. So since we have this remarkable brain, now you must (use) this brain for further strengthening of basic human values."
Steve Smith, who has previously discussed his difficulties sleeping in interviews, was next to take the microphone.
He asked the Dalai Lama: "His Holiness, do you have any good meditation techniques to fall asleep?"
His Holiness replied: "That I don't know."
He continued: "I think indirectly when your mind is at peace, then sleep automatically or naturally comes.
"If your mind is much disturbed and too much anxiety, too much anxious and too much stress and anger of course. These are very bad for sleep.
"Sleeping pills are is just temporary. One day, two days OK. But if you rely on taking sleeping pills, then eventually (they have) less effect. Then amount of pills increase and that is very harmful for our body.
"So relax your mind and go there. Usually, I spent nine hours sleep. Very peaceful. Around 6pm sleep then 3am wake up. Then at least four hours some meditation."
The Dalai Lama earlier asked Marcus Stoinis whether this was his first time in India - to which Stoinis replied it was his third - and queried "has the cricket started already or not yet?".
"Who is going to win?" he continued, before laughing at the Australians' response.
His Holiness said he had "no experience so no interest in cricket" but noted "people receive a certain amount of joyfulness so I appreciate".