"Every morning for more than half a century, the Dalai Lama has woken up at three-thirty a.m. After a quick shower (he is not one to use excess water by taking a bath), he settles into a well-ordered routine of prayers and meditation that lasts for five hours. He uses some of this time to 'shape his motivation' for the rest of the day. He is grateful that he is alive, and he sees each moment as a precious opportunity to open his heart and to do everything within his power to be of service to others. And he reminds himself that he will hold only kind thoughts to all.

"For much of the morning, the Dalai Lama meditates on altruistic love and compassion, 'to generate a sense of caring,' he says, 'to foster genuine concern for others' difficulties and pain, and to develop close, warmhearted feelings for others. Not only for my family and close friends, but also for everyone. Enemies, too.' He internalizes the desire that everyone be truly happy and be free of suffering. By means of this process, through more than a hundred thousand hours of disciplined practice, the Dalai Lama has embedded compassion into every fiber of his being — like oil soaking a cloth. And, by meditating on compassion regularly, he has made significant improvements to his own well-being.