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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Dalai Lama tickets on sale next week

September 17, 2007

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, will visit Lehigh for six days in July 2008. He will conduct a series of teachings, including a public lecture at Stabler Arena titled “Generating a Good Heart.”

The Dalai Lama will teach on campus July 10 to July 15. There will be morning and afternoon sessions each day, except July 13 when the Dalai Lama will make his 90-minute public appearance at Stabler.

“This is the Dalai Lama’s longest series of teachings in the West,” President Alice Gast said. “This is a really wonderful opportunity. This is an opportunity to have an international experience.”

The Dalai Lama’s sessions will focus on Tsong-kha-pa’s “Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment: The Lamrim Chenmo,” a classic Tibetan Buddhist text that was recently translated.

Gast said the Dalai Lama will begin with the basics of Buddhism and get into more complex material as the week goes on. The teachings will be in Tibetan and translated into English.

“The Dalai Lama will try to explain the text, adding something to make it more comprehendible and more understandable,” said Joshua Cutler, executive director of the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in Washington, N.J.

“The ‘Great Treatise’ is a meditation manual. It will tell you what you need to know about Tibetan Buddhism,” said Chaplain Lloyd Steffen, co-chair of the Dalai Lama steering committee.

Tickets for all sessions will be available for purchase at the Stabler Arena box office and at on Sept. 25.

The Dalai Lama’s public lecture, “Generating a Good Heart,” on July 13 will be in English. During this time, he will also answer questions submitted in writing by the audience.

The ticket sale date for the public lecture will be announced Jan. 2, 2008.

In preparation for the Dalai Lama’s visit, Lehigh will offer a lecture and film series on Tibet and Buddhism, beginning with “Visual Tibet: Its Natural History, Landscapes and People.”

The presentation will take place today at 4:10 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium.

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Anne Meltzer and Director of South Mountain College Peter Zeitler will make a visual presentation about the southeastern Tibetan plateau and the Himalayas, and they will also discuss their experiences in Tibet. Both have been working on a research project in the country for 10 years.

A series of academic initiatives and events related to the Dalai Lama’s visit will continue during the year. Steffen said the university is arranging to bring Buddhist monks to campus for a performance of traditional chants and construction of a sand mandala, a Buddhist graphic symbol of the universe.

The university is also working to offer courses next semester relevant to the Dalai Lama, Steffen said.

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