The Dalai Lama said hearing a performance by children from Palo Alto's living wisdom school reminded him of his childhood where love, compassion and smiles left a life-long impression. And that was the message he wanted to leave for Silicon Valley leaders.
"Compassion brings inner-peace, mental comfort. Economy, material brings us physical comfort. Since we have this mind and physical, we need both," he said.
The Dalai Lama pointed at health care as one field where a smile can make a difference in a patient's well-being. And that same concern for others should spill over into every business. Making a profit and being compassionate toward employees and customers should go together.
"We are selfish, but be wise selfish rather than foolish, short-sighted foolish, short-sighted selfish," he said.
That left an impression on the 4,000 people who attended the morning event.
"I'm going to bring that perspective into my work life and really, whether its employees or customers or investors or whoever I might be dealing with, holding them as human beings and as people that care about their happiness just as much as I do," Management Consultant Michael Mischke-Reeds said.
Protesters who have shown up at each of the Dalai Lama's Bay Area appearances indicated they were not happy with him. Others say they will embrace his teaching of kindness towards others.
"I don't know how to be happy, but what the Dalai Lama's taught me is to make other people happy and that will bring happiness to you," Santa Clara University student Dhruv Jhigan said.