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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Dalai Lama urges nurturing

July 20, 2008

Bucks County Courier Times
July 18, 2008

The Dalai Lama emphasized his teachings of compassion and the importance
of nurturing in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Compassion is the theme for many of the teachings of the Dalai Lama. On
the surface, it seems easier to express that virtue to those with whom
it resonates, but more challenging with those who seem different.

“Basically, there are not many differences,” he said during an interview
Thursday. “We all want a happy life. There are cultural differences,
racial differences. We must look at a deeper level. We are sharing the
same planet and 6 billion human beings' future is my future.”

On the subject of the importance of nurturing, he offered that those
whose early life was lacking affection, “have suspicion, distance, never
open their heart. Real affection has to come from the face and eye.”

The Dalai Lama, who is revered worldwide, downplayed his influence: “I
am nobody special,” he said. “I am just an ordinary human being. I
describe myself as a simple Buddhist monk. Some describe me as the
living Buddha. Nonsense. Some describe me as "God-king.' Nonsense. Some
consider me as a demon or a wolf in Buddhist robes. That also is nonsense.”

What brings joy to the Dalai Lama is “talking with people.”

“I consider others as just brothers and sisters,” he said.

“You may notice, like when I talk to a few thousand people, I feel like
I am talking to a friend. No distance. I feel one source of joy. When my
talk has some benefit to people, then I feel that my life is purposeful.”

On Wednesday, the Dalai Lama first met with people at the Kalmyk Temple
in Philadelphia, where several hundred people waited hours to catch a
glimpse of him. There was a sense of respectful anticipation when the
Dalai Lama stepped out of his limousine, a sharp intake of breath was

Kalmyks are ethnic Mongolians who are in alignment with Tibetan
Buddhism. In a presentation before those gathered, the Dalai Lama spoke
of their culture needing to continue through education of the next

Later in the day, at the Kimmel Center, the capacity crowd enjoyed
Kalmyk and Tibetan folk music and dancing as well as Tibetan chanting
offered by the Drepung Gomang monks, who have visited annually to create
exquisite sand mandalas at various locations throughout Bucks and
Montgomery counties.

To applause, the Dalai Lama walked onto the stage, bowed three times and
then prostrated himself before the image of the Buddha on a 50-foot-tall
tapestry, known as a tanka. Taking off his sandals, he sat cross-legged
in a chair to begin his teachings on Buddhism in the 21st century.

After the presentation, the Dalai Lama was surprised by a large cake in
celebration of his 73rd birthday on July 6. A delighted smile spanned
his face, as he seemed not to be aware of the ritual of blowing out the

Greg Schultz of Glenside, who was the manager of the event at the Kimmel
Center, describes himself as “a practicing Tibetan Buddhist and close
friend of the Tibetan people.”

“His Holiness' message of peace and non-violence as being internal
rather than external resonates deep within my very being,” said Schultz.
“There was a moment when he greeted me with a gentle embrace with his
head nestled on my shoulder and mine on his. This lasted for what seemed
several minutes and left me feeling infinite joy and deep gratitude for
all humanity.”

Edie Weinstein-Moser can be reached at

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