I have the opportunity to hear the Dalai Lama speaks at a public meeting this afternoon. Here are a few personal impression of this man.
At the start, he told us that there is NO miracle. He is just an ordinary man like you and me. He jokingly said if there is any miracle, he would like to meet as well because he has an itching skin and hoped that miracle can cure him.
He offered to speak to the people at the gathering (I believe there must have over 10,000 people there) on a man-to-man level.
The main teaching is "compassion" to others. Compassion to other is NOT for the sake of others. It is for oneself. I may write more about this if I can understand that better.
A few interesting answers from Dalai Lama really shines through to the deep of understanding/wisdom he has.
An 11-year old girl asked him the meaning of life and why. He said he did not know and then proceed to explain why. He said scientists and experts are still trying to learn the meaning of life, so he did not know either. He suggested the girl is still young and can search for the truth herself. (I later learnt from the friends that Buddhism refuse to question the origin of life, instead, Buddhism encourages living the life to the fullest. The analog is "when you are driving a car, you don't worry about the mechanics or the make of the car, you concentrate on driving the car and don't hit a post. I would add that this whole true for the Buddhist Monks. Scientists may make it their purpose to understand how life has evolved!)
Wikipedia's article on 14th Dalai Lama (the current Dalai Lama) is accurate: He has also stated his belief that modern scientific findings take precedence over ancient religions. At least I believe Buddhism does not corner itself to the contradiction of the findings of modern science - great contrast to Christianity (as I understood it).
As a religious leader, Dalai Lama's teaching is remarkably non-religious. He appeals to fundamental good human nature. He objects using fear, hatry and force.
I really want to learn more about this man.