After his morning meditation, the exiled Tibetan leader appeared at a press conference -- in a tight black vest and leather pants. His publicist gave a brief statement before the Dalai Lama posed for photographers.
"We're very mindful of His Holiness' image, and our goal is to get his message across to a younger audience."
"I've been wearing those old robes for decades, all the while preaching about nonattachment. The dharma is about change, so why shouldn't I get jiggy with the times?" the Buddhist leader said.
Among his other jewelry, the Dalai Lama was wearing a large cross pendant. This was not a symbol of a conversion, he explained, but a gesture to promote religious harmony. In reference to his oversized "Free Tibet" medallion, the Dalai Lama said, "A little bling-bling never hurt anything."
Has he put away his maroon and gold robes for good?
"Nothing is permanent," he said.