• By Dana Sparks

In the Loop: A Gift for the Dalai Lama, Repaid

March 2, 2016

Dr. Joe Sharp holding a book and being greeted by the Dalai Lama

On Monday, Mayo Clinic staff had the opportunity to hear a talk on "Compassion in Health Care" from one of Mayo's own patients — also known as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He suggests a simpler address, however. "When a specialist asked how to address me, I said, simply, 'Call me brother,'" he told the audience. "When someone calls me 'brother,' I feel touched on a basic level of humanness." That message of connection was one the Dalai Lama returned to many times during his nearly two-hour conversation with staff. "If we put the emphasis on the sameness … (instead of differences), we can reduce problems across the world."

The Dalai Lama's message resonated with many in the audience. Perhaps none more so than Joe Sharp, Ph.D., a retired researcher at Mayo Clinic. It was "wonderful" to hear the Dalai Lama speak, he tells us. But even more than his words, it was the Dalai Lama's presence that impressed Dr. Sharp. "What he said was really interesting, but that wasn't the most interesting thing to me," Dr. Sharp tells us. "What was most interesting was just to be in his presence. He's so modest, so open, so human. He was compassionate, and deep, and humorous. It was his presence that was so real, and it's something I can't put into words very easily."  Read the rest of Joe's story.

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