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Dalai Lama graces South Florida with his presence

Reaching out to others in compassion is the way to true happiness and inner peace said the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet to a crowd of

The 14th Dalai Lama Photo by Andrea Freygang

close to 3,000 inside FAU’s arena this week. The Dalai Lama is the now exiled head of state of Tibet and their spiritual leader. Originally named Lhamo Dhondup, he was believed to be the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, and according to his Web site, “the Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and patron saint of Tibet.  Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.”

For many, included, it was a struggle to understand the Dalai Lama through his thick accent, but guidance on leaving a peaceful life (the week’s theme at FAU) through compassion was the guiding principle.

To those who think they can do nothing to advance peace he said, “you all have the potential for compassion and to seek inner peace”

“When you talk compassion…you respect others lives and the mere essence of life,” said His Holiness. “We need to have more compassion toward other human beings.”

He talked about compassion on two levels — toward friends and toward enemies.

“It’s easy to have compassion toward friends, (“compassion with attachment), but harder to have compassion toward enemies or people you don’t know (“compassion without attachment),” said the Dalai Lama, who is a Buddhist monk (. “The only real way to have inner peace is having compassion toward everyone. You must extend love to all creatures created by God.”

He said genuine compassion “is a sense of concern with respect.”

The Dalai Lama is well known for his spiritual wisdom, and has traveled all across the world sharing his insights while he attempts to influence peace, despite his living in exile in India after a Chinese invasion forced him to flee.

He told the avid crowd that if you have anxiety or stress, it doesn’t do any good to take a holiday or do on a trip, because when you get back to work, you’ll still be miserable

“You have to find inner peace to get rid of anxiety,” he explained.

His holiness began his monastic education at the age of six.  The curriculum consisted of five major and five minor subjects.  The

The Dalai Lama before he spoke. Photo by Andrea Freygang

major subjects were logic, Tibetan art and culture, Sanskrit, medicine, and Buddhist philosophy which was further divided into a further five categories: Prajnaparimita, the perfection of wisdom; Madhyamika, the philosophy of the middle Way; Vinaya, the canon of monastic discipline; Abidharma, metaphysics; and Pramana, logic and epistemology.  The five minor subjects were poetry, music and drama, astrology, motre and phrasing, and synonyms.

At 23 he sat for his final examination in the Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, during the annual Monlam (prayer) Festival in 1959.  He passed with honours and was awarded the Geshe Lharampa degree, the highest-level degree equivalent to a doctorate of Buddhist philosophy.

“Some people are too formal and don’t have the ability to smile—it’s important to smile,” said his Holiness to the crowd. “Peace can’t come from the sky, but from inside ourselves.”

The central theme was compassion however, as his speech was titled “Compassion as a Pillar of Peace,” a subject he speaks frequently on.

“Ultimately, the reason why love and compassion bring the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else,” he has said. “The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence.”

The Dalai Lama spoke for almost an hour and finished up with questions from FAU faculty and staff.

The Dalai Lama spoke to a crowd of 3,000. Photo by Andrea Freygang

When asked what will happen in 2012 (likely referencing various doomsday prophecies, including ones by the Mayan civilization, he said he didn’t know.

“I don’t know what will happen tomorrow,” he said, adding he doesn’t do predictions. “Let’s wait and see.”

FAU interim president said he was honored to host the Dalai Lama.

“(He) is a true messenger of peace, compassion and understanding,” said John Pritchett. “This is a historic moment for the university and truly a wonderful education opportunity for our students, faculty, staff and community.”

While in Florida, the Dalai Lama also spoke at Nova Southeastern University. He left to return to India, after also meeting with President Barack Obama for the first meeting during his visit to the United States.

To learn more about the Dalai Lama and his teachings, visit his Website at contributed to this report.

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Feb 25 2010. Filed under Broward County, College, Culture, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Local news, Palm Beach. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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