Dalai Lama Talks Peace In Calgary

September 30th 2009

Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 30 September 2009 (CBC News) - The Dalai Lama has returned to Calgary for the first time in nearly 30 years, accepting an honorary degree from the city's largest university and a white cowboy hat from the mayor.

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader also brought his message of peace to a crowd at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Wednesday afternoon, giving a public address as part of a two-day visit to the city for a University of Calgary conference called NOW.

He spoke to the audience of peace not only on a global, national and family level, but on a personal one.

"We can say violence is generally speaking out of anger, hatred. Peace is out of compassion. So therefore, genuine peace [comes] through compassion. In other words, external, long-lasting genuine peace mostly comes through internal peace."

University of Calgary president Harvey Weingarten laughs as Mayor Dave Bronconnier gives the Dalai Lama one of the city

University of Calgary president Harvey Weingarten laughs as Mayor Dave Bronconnier gives the Dalai Lama
one of the city's iconic white cowboy hats. (Zulekha Nathoo/CBC)

He also joked with the audience that he has no healing power, as demonstrated by his need to have gall bladder surgery last year, but later spoke of his quick recovery.

"Not because of my healing power, but because of my peace of mind," he said.

University of Calgary president Harvey Weingarten presented an honorary law degree to the Dalai Lama during the Saddledome event.

"He has touched the hearts and minds of leaders in politics, religion and business, as well as those of everyday people who search only to find happiness," said Weingarten.

The Dalai Lama thanked the university and with a giggle admitted he had been a "lazy student."

Welcomed with a cowboy hat

Earlier in the day, Mayor Dave Bronconnier plopped the city's iconic white cowboy hat on the Dalai Lama's head during a welcoming at the airport.

The Dalai Lama was last in Calgary in 1980, when the city fathers declined to present him with a white hat, saying he wasn't an official dignitary. Calgary's Tibetan community was further annoyed when former mayor Al Duerr presented then-president Jiang Zemin of China with a white hat in 1997.

"Presentation of gifts on behalf of the citizens of Calgary are not intended to be political symbols at all. This is a welcoming gesture ... recognizing an international spiritual leader, one who advances education, philanthropy and works towards world peace," Bronconnier said Tuesday.

The mayor also presented a white hat later Wednesday to a former president of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk, who is also in Calgary for the conference.

 

Latest News

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Attends Graduation Ceremony at the College for Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah
April 26th 2016
Dharamsala, HP, India, 26 April 2016 - It was a bright spring morning today as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove down through Dharamsala town and on through the neat tea gardens below Chilgari. Jacaranda trees were in bloom and flocks of brilliant green parakeets swooped across the road on the way to the College for Higher Tibetan Studies at Sarah.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Greets Queen Elizabeth on her 90th Birthday
April 21st 2016

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Expresses Sympathy and Support for the Victims of Earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador
April 18th 2016

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Expresses Condolences over Kerala Temple Fire
April 12th 2016

Visit to ‘Thank You Dalai Lama’ Photo Exhibition at AIFACS
April 10th 2016

Explore