Dalai Lama in U.S. today

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DALAI LAMA IN THE U.S.

Well, somehow I got too busy to notice that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been in the United States for the past two weeks. So today, a look at some of the highlights of his trip.

In San Francisco, he served food to the homeless at a Catholic mission. His unparalleled ability to find kinship with others led him to remark to the residents that, “I am homeless, too.” He is, since he has not been at his home, the Potala Palace, since 1959.

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Potala Palace, Tibet

“Our lives depend on others,” said the Dalai Lama. “Me too. My life depends on others. You are still in human society, human community. Please feel happy and feel dignity.”

After a stop at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, he goes on to speak at an event sponsored by the Harvard Divinity School.

From the Dalai Lama’s news site:

The Dalai Lama is in Boston as part of a four-day tour that includes his visit to Harvard as well as to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the inauguration of a new center for ethics named in his honor. He will also participate Friday (May 1) in a panel discussion organized by Harvard Medical School titled “Meditation and Psychotherapy: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom.” On Saturday (May 2), he will speak at Gillette Stadium.

After the Memorial Church talk, the Dalai Lama, accompanied by Harvard President Drew Faust, University Marshal Jacqueline O’Neill, McCartney, and Graham, planted a birch tree in front of the Memorial Church. The tree was a hybrid, a combination of Eastern and Western varieties, created especially for the occasion by the staff of Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum.

“Just as the Dalai Lama illuminates our role as stewards of the environment, compassionate toward all creatures,” said Faust, “so shall this tree shine for all who pass this way, a reminder of our interdependence.”

On May 1, the Dalai Lama spoke at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He inaugurated the new Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values.

On May 2, he spoke at a stadium in Boston and on Sunday, he was in New York city.

Yesterday (Wednesday) he appeared at Crowne Plaza in Albany (from the Times Union) —

With a rock star’s aura and a guru’s mystique, the Dalai Lama captivated the capital city Wednesday, offering a simple message of tolerance, peace and happiness with an impish grin, a deep chortle and playful exchanges.

His underlying theme seemed borrowed from a hit song of an earlier decade: Don’t worry, be happy.

At a news conference in the Crowne Plaza before his talk at the Palace Theatre, the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader delivered gentle wisdom whether he was asked about the global economic crisis or climate change.

“Those are man-made problems, and logically, human beings have the ability to work out those problems. We can recover from this economic crisis,” he said.

“When human nature is aggressive and destructive, you get the impression our future is doomed. That is a mistake,” he said, making direct eye contact with each questioner and speaking in a deep voice in English. He only rarely conferred with a Tibetan translator at his side.

“Pay more attention to inner values,” he said. “Money alone is not sufficient. Those people whose only concern is money get much more disturbances when the global economy collapsed. People with a happy family and a happy community get less disturbances.”

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