Sport Cricket Steve Smith rubs noses with the Dalai Lama

Steve Smith rubs noses with the Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama Steve Smith
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and Australian cricket team captain Steven Smith at the Tsuglakhang temple in Dharmsala, India. Photo: AAP
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Australia’s cricket team sought enlightenment before starting its quest for exhilaration in Dharamsala, meeting the Dalai Lama on Friday.

Skipper Steve Smith and most of his teammates visited Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader before training on the eve of their Test series decider against India.

There was nothing perfunctory about the trip to Dalai Lama temple, a tourist destination that draws visitors of all ages, backgrounds, races and religions to the foot of the Himalayas.

Smith rubbed noses with His Holiness, noting the experience was a timely reminder of what’s important during a four-Test series that has featured plenty of spats, allegations and bad blood.

“He’s all about compassion and oneness for every human being and it was great to hear something like that from someone as prestigious as the Dalai Lama,” Smith said.

Dalai Lama cricket
The Australian squad with the Dalai Lama. Photo: AAP

“If we can learn anything from it, it is that perhaps sometimes we get a bit over the top when we are out there playing cricket.

“It’s a tough game but at the end of the day it’s just a game and you need to realise that at times.”

Smith added the experience had relaxed the players ahead of one of the most important matches of their career.

In recent years, Australia has called in the likes of former captain Steve Waugh and former Prime Minster Bob Hawke to deliver a pre-match address to players.

On this occasion, Smith talked sleep instead of cricket.

“I asked him a question about sleep and how he could help me, and he gave me his blessing,” Smith said.

“We rubbed our noses together and gave me some blessings, so hopefully it’ll help me with my sleep over the next five days.”

Responding to Smith’s search for a better night’s sleep, His Holiness admitted “that I don’t know.”

“Indirectly when your mind is at peace, then sleep automatically or naturally comes,” he said.

“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.”

Vice-captain David Warner asked the Dalai Lama “how important is it to have peace of mind?”.

The Dalai Lama, who spoke about China’s occupation of Tibet, admitted he knew “less than zero” about cricket.


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