Special Prayers for Christchurch

June 8th 2011

Christchurch, New Zealand, 8 June 2011 (TVNZ) - The power of prayer was felt in Christchurch today as thousands of people turned out for a service with the Dalai Lama.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama receives a gift from two young students during the public service in Christchurch, New Zealand on June 8, 2011, for victims of February's earthquake that devastated the city. Photo/Martin Hunter/Getty Images
The Tibetan Buddhist leader came to the broken city out of compassion for the people of the quake-stricken city.

"I want to share some of your sadness," he told the crowd of more than 4000.

The Dalai Lama requested private meetings with people who lost loved ones in the February earthquake and at the start of the prayer meeting spoke briefly to each of the bereaved families.

He also spent time with injured people and emergency staff at Christchurch Hospital.

The only survivor of the Number 3 bus said it was a "never in a lifetime" occasion.

"He was wonderful - lovely, quite warm," Ann Bower said.

And Nick Walls, a victim of the PGC building collapse, also said it was an amazing experience to meet him, describing the Dalai Lama as "very kind and comforting".


His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Christchurch Hospital on June 8, 2011, with victims of the February's earthquake.
Photo/Cally Stockdale

Jaime Gilbert died in the quake and his loved ones said they felt honoured by the Dalai Lama's invitation. Jaime's partner Natalie O'Brien said it was an honour to be there.

"He's a very wise man, he's got a lot to teach us all," she said.

Families of the quake victims were given a special place to sit up the front at the service and they were joined by thousands of others, who were united in speaking of the Dalai Lama's inspiration and peace.

Emma Woods, the mother of four-year-old Nayan who was struck and killed last year by an out of control car, also attended.

His messages included urging the people to "build new town, new city, new home, even more happier new town".

The 75-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader requested the visit ahead of a 10-day tour of Australia.

He has visited Christchurch twice before, in 1992 and 1996, and said he has fond memories and a special warmth for the city. On both his previous visits he spoke at the now ruined Christchurch Cathedral.

"Now we must look forward. Instead of sad, sad, look forward and overcome," he said.

 

Latest News

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Visits Madhya Pradesh to Talk on the Environment and Happiness
March 19th 2017
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, 19 March 2017 (PTI) - India should focus on development of villages to ensure prosperity, the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said on Sunday. “India’s prosperity depends on the development of villages instead of developing big cities.

Visit to Nava Nalanda Mahavihara and 2nd Day of International Buddhist Conference
March 18th 2017

Inauguration of the International Conference on Relevance of Buddhism in 21st Century
March 17th 2017

Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara Empowerment in Dharamsala
March 14th 2017

Teaching ‘Stages of Meditation’ and ‘37 Practices of a Bodhisattva’
March 13th 2017

Explore