Dalai Lama Lecture Draws Thousands in Poland

December 11th 2008

Warsaw, Poland, 11 December 2008 (DPA) - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama drew thousands to a lecture in the capital on Thursday amid warnings from Beijing to respect China's interests.

The Dalai Lama's visit to Poland sparked protests from China when he earlier met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and prompted China to cancel two upcoming summits with the European Union.

In Warsaw, all tickets to the lecture were grabbed up within hours, with lines curving around a major sports hall before the event. The city's mayor welcomed the Dalai Lama to the 'city of freedom,' saying Poland itself traveled a difficult road to democracy.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski had also met with the spiritual leader, sparking a further reaction with China warning Warsaw of creating impediments to Chinese-Polish relations.

The Dalai Lama drew laughs at the lecture when he put on a visor for shade against the stage lights, or popped a candy into his mouth and hid the wrapper under his robe. Despite the difficult life he's had as a refugee, he said, he's kept inner-peace.

'At the age of 16, I lost my freedom. At the age of 24, I lost my own country,' he told the crowd. 'The news from our home, in most cases, is sad news. ... Therefore, a compassionate mind is very very useful to keep your mental peace.'

'With that inner peace,' he said, 'no matter how complicated the situation, you can maintain your peace of mind and you can handle the problem.'

China, which claims Tibet as part of its territory, generally frowns upon foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama, whom many Tibetans see as a symbol of national independence. The Dalai Lama, 73, fled Tibet after an abortive uprising against China in 1969 to set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in India.

The Dalai Lama was in Poland to attend celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of former Solidarity trade union leader Lech Walesa's receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

 

Latest News

Thank You From His Holiness the Dalai Lama
August 13th 2015
I would like to thank all my friends in the many different countries of the world for your greetings on the occasion of my 80th birthday. I am grateful for the kind words you have expressed. As you know, my life is dedicated to the service of all sentient beings, and in particular I try to help my fellow human beings in whatever way I can. What unites all sentient beings is that we all naturally seek happiness and try to avoid suffering. Therefore, we have a collective responsibility to try to bring about the well-being and happiness of all living beings and help them overcome their suffering.

Long-Life Empowerment and Long-Life Offering in Leh
July 30th 2015

Inauguration of Summer Higher Buddhist Council at Spituk Monastery
July 30th 2015

A Visit to the Leh Jokhang and Jamyang School
July 28th 2015

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Expresses Condolences Over the Passing Away of Former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
July 28th 2015

Explore