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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Dalai Lama urges listeners to attain inner peace to end conflict

October 11, 2007


Associated Press Writer

5:40 PM EDT, October 9, 2007

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Achieving global peace must begin with each person attaining an inner 
peace first, the Dalai Lama told a capacity audience Tuesday at 
Cornell University.

"It is impossible to achieve inner peace when you are full of hate, 
suspicion and fear," the Buddhist spiritual leader told 5,500 people 
who packed Barton Hall for the first of his three public appearances 
during a two-day visit to Ithaca.

"Taking care of others is the best guarantee for your own happy 
future," said the 72-year-old exiled Tibetan leader and Nobel laureate.

The visit to the Ivy League school in upstate New York was organized 
by Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies. The Dalai Lama 
came to Ithaca to visit and bless the site of the new Namgyal temple, 
which is the home of the Namgyal branch in North America.

As part of his visit, the Dalai Lama had a sold-out appearance 
scheduled Wednesday at Ithaca College, where he was to lecture on 
"Eight Verses for Training the Mind."

Also Wednesday, he was scheduled to lead an interfaith session, 
"Prayers for World Peace," at the State Theater in downtown Ithaca.

The Dalai Lama told listeners that his talk would be informal _ 
"sometimes formality itself creates bad air," he said. At times, he 
emitted a deep, booming laugh as he reacted to his own quips; other 
times his voice rose to a high pitch as he sought to emphasize his 

People lined up two hours before the speech to get inside Barton 
Hall. Another 2,000 students and faculty packed into Bailey and 
Kennedy halls to watch a telecast of the speech. Countless more in 
the community watched on cable television and the Internet.

The Dalai Lama told his audience _ a mix of young and old _ that the 
responsibility for achieving global peace lied not with the leaders 
of countries but with the people instead.

"Genuine peace must come through inner peace ..." he said.

"Many unnecessary problems we are facing today are because of my 
generation's mistakes and negligence."

"You are the people who have the opportunity to make a new ship of 
this planet," he said, singling out the college students in the crowd.

Nature has already equipped each individual with the potential to 
achieve inner peace, the Dalai Lama said, describing the human body 
as the ideal vessel for compassion because humans have "arms for 
hugging and teeth for smiling."

In another light moment, the Dalai Lama said he learned compassion 
through his mother's affections.

"Unless you are born from the lotus ... all humans have the same 
potential for compassion and love," he said.

Through reasoning and training, each person can "grow infinite, 
unbiased compassion," he said.

The Dalai Lama has led Tibet's government in exile in India since 
1959. He has spent the last half-century as an international 
political leader, advocating for freedom of the people of Tibet, 
opposing violence and calling for respect of human rights worldwide. 
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

Copyright (c) 2007, The Associated Press

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