Dalai Lama Shares His Wisdom, Humor In Kresge Auditorium

May 1st 2009

Cambridge, MA, USA, 1 May 2009 (By Elijah Jordan Turner, The MIT Tech) - For the second time in six years, the Dalai Lama spoke at MIT. But while last time he was a visiting guest, yesterday he was speaking to inaugurate a new center at MIT, the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values.

As the Dalai Lama walked onto the stage in a sold-out Kresge Auditorium, the crowd fell silent.

He met the audience with a distinctive anjali greeting, pressing his hands together and bowing repeatedly. Then, after a brief introduction, he began to speak.

First he spoke to the global economy and the confounding nature of free markets: 'Something's human-created, but it's beyond human control?'

The rest of his talk focused on the role of ethics in secular education. Secularism does not mean rejecting religion, he said; it means 'respect for all religions.' Ethics can exist without depending on a particular religion, he said.

Honesty is important in every line of work, from politics to science to finance, he said. Greed was a source of the economic crisis, he said.

He praised countries like the United States for their commitment to human rights, contrasting them with China, whose government's 1950 takeover of Tibet has been a source of tension within and outside the Buddhist community for more than half a century.

The current Dalai Lama


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