The DUCHESS OF YORK, Sarah Ferguson has taken on a new mentor in her life - the Dalai Lama.

Ferguson, ex-wife of Britain's PRINCE ANDREW, has followed in the footsteps of such Hollywood stars as Goldie Hawn and Richard Gere by developing a huge admiration for the highly revered Tibetan spiritual leader - and she's learned a lot of lessons about the basics of life from him.

She says, "That is secret of life. It's not about what we look like and all these things. It's about being compassionate in your heart and acts of kindness.

"Acts of kindness are just extraordinary, whether you smile at TOMMY walking down the passage or BRENDAN, just remember their names and be nice. That's an act of kindness.

"The other day I went and saw the Dalai Lama because if it's as simple as that, just to have kindness, then what are we all on about? Forget all of this materialism, let's go back to what the essential thing of life is - the heart. That's what I'm about."

15/09/2004 08:35