I recently had the great opportunity to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Budapest, Hungary. Although I did not get to meet with His Holiness individually, at one point, I was sitting about 30 feet away from him.
This was the first time I had seen the Dalai Lama in person. In many ways, he seemed exactly the same as he does in YouTube videos. He is a very straightforward person. When he's happy and excited, you can tell. When he's tired and a bit bored, you can also tell. He doesn't hide behind the multiplicity of masks that most of us hide behind. He is such a good and serene person that he has nothing to hide.
His presence didn't feel the way I thought it would. I guess I had many fantasies, but he always acts in a very plain manner. I wouldn't say that I felt disappointed, because I was indeed very happy to see him, but the total effect of seeing him in person was different than what I had expected.
I guess this might parallel the texts I've read which often say that some people find the true nature of mind to be disappointingly ordinary as well when they first encounter it. I see His Holiness' whole being as pointing others towards the true nature of mind and dispelling all misconceptions and fantasies.
One person in the audience asked him about eating meat, and HHDL talked very strongly about the importance of being vegetarian in order to reduce the suffering of animals.
May His Holiness live a long and healthy life for the benefit of all beings, and may Tibet be free!