Dalai Lama: Smiling more important than meditating

Dalai Lama laughing away

The Dalai Lama spoke in London's Lyceum Theatre recently. I was lucky enough to see him and volunteer to help organise the event, hosted by Action for Happiness.

What struck me most out of all he said, was what he said about smiling.

The Dalai Lama said:

“My practice when I see someone, is to smile”

That’s his actual practice! He does it as an act of kindness - to help lift people’s spirits.

And he knows very well that it makes him feel great too. It’s what he calls ‘wise selfish behaviour’. 

No wonder that dude is so popular. He must have smiled a million times.

The Dalai Lama even said smiling can be more valuable than meditating. Amazing coming from someone who wakes up at 3am to meditate for several hours.

I’d recommend you watch this little video of the Dalai Lama sharing a joke and showing his humanity - he’s not perfect too. Hopefully you can crack a smile after watching this story about a poor parrot!

Someone in my current training program met the Dalai Lama as a teenager in a small group. She said his smile was so contagious, it lifted the whole group every time they met him. A huge lift in positivity and energy each time he smiled to the group.

So a very simple and easy way to lift your mood and others, is to smile!

In future posts, I’ll share more about the science of smiling - the 'Act As If' principle.

Do you make an effort to smile everyday? What do you know about the power of smiling?


The Dalai Lama, as Patron of Action for Happiness, helped them launch their happiness course. Join me to support their Crowdfunder here. They need the money to share their wonderful course around the world.