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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."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in San Francisco, Day 2

April 29, 2009
April 27, 2009,

San Francisco -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama's
second day of program in San Francisco began with
a conversation with several philanthropists in
the morning on "The Joy of Giving."

This discussion was organized by The Forgotten
International, an organization that strives to
develop programs that will alleviate poverty and
the suffering associated with poverty. The other
panelists were Betsy Gordon, whose foundation
supports groups engaged in research and service
that bridge the inner work of mind and spirit to
the outer work of action and service in the
world; Michael Quinn, Vice President of Customer
Advocacy at Cisco Systems and also a member of
the Board of Directors of TechSoup Global, an
organization that helps nonprofits and others use
technology to optimize their philanthropic
impact; and Sejal Hathi, a senior at Notre Dame
High School in San Jose, California, and the
founding president of Girls Helping Girls, an
organization dedicated to empowering young women around the world.

His Holiness opened his remarks by saying that
basically human beings are social animal and that
our survival depends on the rest of the human
kind. Therefore, taking care of others is taking
care of self. His Holiness stressed on the
importance of giving without expecting anything in return.

His Holiness then dwelt on the concept of giving
in theistic and non-theistic religions. he said
that believers in theistic religions understand
that serving people is equivalent to serving God.
Here he joked and said that since he is a
believer in non-theistic religion, he was an
outsider. However, he thought while creating the
world, God did so with joy, harmony, peace and
full of love, but since the world became
miserable God may be feeling that something may
have gone wrong somewhere when he created it.

His Holiness said the believers in the
non-theistic religions, look at giving from the
law of causality, that every experience is due to our own Karma or action.

His Holiness said that in Buddhism, the practice
of Boddhisattva ideal has two levels. At one
level you dedicate your body, mind and virtues to
others. This is antidote to one's own avarie and
miserliness. The act of giving enhances one's
courage. His Holiness explained the different
aspects related to giving, what type (e.g.,
giving of arms, drugs, poison), appropriateness
of the time of giving (e.g. offering food in the
afternoon to fully ordained monks in the evening
when they are not supposed to eat), or the
attitude of giving (true act of giving is not to
satisfy oneself but to benefit the recipient.
Similarly, it is not a proper attitude if the
benefactor is condescending towards the recipient).

Another important act of giving is spiritual
counsel or counseling on general matters. His
Holiness referred to the attitude of teachers to
students and doctors to patients in this category.

Thereafter, the co-panelists shared their views
on their experience and asked questions to His
Holiness on the topic. His Holiness touched on
the sameness of humanity during this session by
saying that if we looked at the earth from space,
you do not perceive the differences based on
countries. Similarly, he said we are all same
human being mentally, emotionally, physically
even though we seem to be different in terms of
race or color, etc. He therefore urged everyone
to have a sense of global responsibility based on the oneness of humanity.

His Holiness then dwelt on the negative aspect of
"too much nationalism" and referred to the
situation in China, in the attitude towards
Japan. His Holiness also talked about the
sometimes negative role that religion is led to
play in different parts of the world. He said he
admired the Indian society that has cultivated an
environment of tolerance for generations. He said
the thoughts he had been sharing, those of peace,
nonviolence, compassion and religious harmony,
etc., are all Indian thoughts and that he was just the messenger.

When asked whether the practice of altruism is
really possible His Holiness said that at the
biological level of compassion, which is limited,
biased and mixed with attachment, the idea of
total selflessness is not possible. But at the
other level of compassion where with the help of
wisdom unbiased compassion can be developed, altruism may be possible.

His Holiness concluded by saying that ultimately
motivation was important in the act of giving.

Following this session, His Holiness departed to
Martin de Porres House of Hospitality, a place
that serves free food to people in need. His
Holiness mixed around with the people who had
gathered for their lunch (pasta, green salad and
bread). He then helped in serving pasta to some
of the people before sitting down on a table with
six other people. He spent nearly an hour with
these people as he ate the same lunch with them.

Addressing the people there, His Holiness
expressed his pleasure at being able to come to
the venue. He said in Buddhism the act of giving
directly by your hand is considered important and
he said he was pleased to have been able to do that today.

Referring to himself also as a homeless, His
Holiness said the Tibetans had a saying that the
place where you feel happy is your home and that
whoever gives you kindness is your parent. He
therefore asked the people to be happy and that
human spirit is the source of inner strength.

His Holiness said the experience reminded him of
the time when he was young when he greatly looked
forward to sitting down with ordinary
individuals. He said such individuals were
straightforward and did not have any pretensions.
Here, he said, there was no need of diplomatic smile.

His Holiness then answered a few questions from
the people there. Responding to a question about
the role of spiritualism, His Holiness said that
in the case of individuals, the concept of "one
truth, one religion" may be important, but in the
case of a community it was beneficial to have the
concept of "several truths and several
religions". When asked whether he would be reborn
the 15th time, His Holiness said that this was at
the mysterious level and he did not know. Asked
what advice he had for those teaching young
children, he emphasized the importance of
affection and said that the children should feel cared for.

His Holiness then left the venue telling the
people that he would love to come back again.

After some rest at the hotel, His Holiness
participated in an event to honor 49 people from
13 countries (25 women and 24 men with age
ranging from 12 to 77) who have been involved in
different aspect of social service and have been
named recipients of Unsung Heroes of Compassion
award for 2009. They included Tibetans Thuten
Kesang from New Zealand, Dorjee Dadul from
Australia and Jigme Topgyal from the United States.

"These individuals have been selected as
representatives of the tens of thousands of
people worldwide who quietly serve the
disenfranchised and work to improve our
communities through their personal efforts,"
event chair Dick Grace, founder of Grace Family
Vineyards and board chair of Wisdom in Action,
the organization hosting the event said.

Author Isabel Allende, actor Peter Coyote and
author Jack Kornfield made remarks and introduced the honorees.

In his remarks, His Holiness the Dalai Lama
expressed his admiration for Mr. Dick Grace's
work saying that he is a man of action. He
recalled that at one time when Mr. Grace was
traveling in a car in Dharamsala and saw a
Tibetan girl being attacked by a dog, he stopped
the car to take the girl to the hospital.

His Holiness said that our future depends on a
healthy planet and therefore everyone needed to
seriously think about the wellbeing of humanity.
He congratulated the recipients of the award and
asked them not to be complacent but to continue their work.

Following his remarks, His Holiness answered some
questions. When asked what should be done when
the scope of problems seem vast while the efforts
seem small, His Holiness said that we should not
be expecting overnight results. When asked how
could people help Tibetans for this and for
generations, His Holiness said the real problem
was that the Chinese say there is no issue at all
and that it was only a handful of Tibetans who
were creating the problem. He said that since
March 10 last year he had been urging the Chinese
authorities to show to the world the reality in
Tibet. He said if things are really good and the
information showed that what we had been saying
was wrong, we can apologize. He said we have
nothing to complain if the Tibetan people are happy.

His Holiness urged people to visit Tibet and to
ask the Chinese authorities that they want to see
the reality. He referred to the recent visit to
Tibet by four German parliamentarians who
reported that they did not have free access in
Tibet. His Holiness said that he had made clear
that he was not seeking separation, but the
problem is that the Chinese Government simply dismiss the issue.

His Holiness then greeted each of the recipients personally.

Dr. Grace Dammann, a past recipient of the award
who suffered major injuries in a car accident in
May 2008 was brought to the stage and spoke about
her experience. She dwelt on the role of her
spiritualism in her life after the accident.

His Holiness departs San Francisco on April 27 morning.
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