Gere springs a surprise

Audience was only expecting the Dalai Lama

December 08, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 24, 2016 02:24 pm IST - BENGALURU:

Hollywood actor Richard Gere sprang a surprise on the audience waiting to hear the Dalai Lama at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) on Monday.

Arriving breathless after the introductions had begun, the 66-year-old actor said that he had landed in the city early in the morning and felt as if he had literally run all the way from New York.

He pointed out that India is an old, ancient country with a tradition of contemplation, whereas his America is a young one, and even younger when it comes to philosophical thought. “There is still space in America for contemplative cultures despite the craziness and violence,” he said.

“I do not miss the irony of me, an American, coming here to talk to Indians about meditation,” said Mr. Gere, relating an incident at the airport where the man in front of him at immigration was taking a long time. “I have been meditating for about 40 years now and still I can get angry for something like this. I cannot claim to have had any breakthrough,” he said, calling the audience, made up of mostly doctors from the institute, pioneers for allowing themselves the exchange of ideas between science and what contemplative religions have to offer.

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