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Dalai Lama stops in Los Altos for new vision

Photo by Charles Halleck, Special to the Town Crier

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader for millions of Buddhists throughout the world, attended to one small errand last week in Los Altos on the way to inspiring followers during appearances at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

He had his eyes examined Thursday at Eye Lite Optical on State Street. Dr. Jabina Ramde, the optometrist who examined the Dalai Lama and fitted him for new glasses, said she will never forget the half-hour to 45-minute visit she had with the religious celebrity.

“It was a blessing to be in his presence,” said the native of Nepal and a practicing Buddhist. “We are beyond words. We were walking on air around the office.”

She said the Dalai Lama held her hand and exuded a happiness that was difficult to describe.

“I’m making him a new pair of glasses,” Ramde said. “He’s going to look very handsome.”

A small crowd gathered around the business early Thursday afternoon, amid a small contingent of local police and U.S. State Department officials.

A mixture of adults and children, some eating ice cream from a nearby Baskin-Robbins, patiently waited for the Dalai Lama to emerge.

When he did, he was greeted with polite applause. The Dalai Lama smiled and waved to the gathering, pointing to his eyes at one point, before being driven off in a black Lincoln town car.

The Dalai Lama’s appearance in Los Altos was due in large part to Los Altos Hills resident Alana Sharaun. She also had benefited from Ramde’s care.

“I had been ranting and raving about her (positively speaking) to Tom Flynn,” she said. Flynn, with the Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel, arranged for the Dalai Lama’s appearance at Shoreline. Flynn later called Sharaun and asked, “Do you have an optometrist?”

Sharaun, who attended the Dalai Lama’s talks, was excited, even overjoyed, in discussing the spiritual leader.

“He’s a wonderful, wonderful, very caring teacher,” she said.

“For many of us, he makes visible the great heart of compassion which all beings share.”

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