Santiago, Chile , 6 May 2006 (tibet.net) - His Holiness the Dalai Lama concluded his four-day visit to Chile today.
Early this morning, His Holiness had a 30-minute private meeting with the Chilean Minister of Transport, Mr. Sergio Espejo Jakse.
Later in the morning, His Holiness gave a two hour teaching on 'Eight Verses of the Training of Mind' at Santiago Arena, the largest indoor sport auditorium in Santiago . The teaching was attended by over 2,500 people and majority of the people who attended the teaching were non-Buddhists.
Soon after the completion of the teaching, His Holiness planted a sapling at the Tibet Square in Parque O'Higgen in the presence of the Mayor of Santiago region, Mr. Victor Barrueto, and many local media representatives.
After the event, His Holiness gave an audience to the organizers of his previous visits in 1992 and 1999 alongwith the leaders of the Chilean Tibetan Culture Association, Drikung Kagyu Centers , Shambhala Center , and Zen Centers . He advised the Buddhist leaders to focus more attention on transmitting the essence of Buddha's teaching or Buddhist philosophy rather than maintaining the Buddhist rituals. He also sought their assistance in preserving and promoting the rich Tibetan cultural heritage and civilization, which, he said, is in danger of extinction.
He also gave a brief audience to Chilean musicians and Ngawang Khechok, who participated in the Peace Concert which was held in the late evening after the conclusion of His Holiness' public talk.
In the late afternoon, His Holiness gave a public talk on 'The Power of Compassion', which was attended by over 7,000 people. The Chileans, particularly the younger generation, have paid tremendous attention to His Holiness' talk. Earlier, on 5 May, His Holiness participated in a day-long seminar on 'Exploring the Mind'. He participated in two forums of the seminar, 'Gentle Bridges Between the Two Sciences' in the morning and 'Science and Spirituality' in the evening with Chilean and other scientists as well as other experts on the subject. More than 500 scientists, experts, scholars and science students attended the conference. The conference received tremendous attention from the Chilean society, which has produced many renowned scientists.
In between the science conference, His Holiness had meetings with the Chilean Education Minister, Mr. Matin Zilic, as well as the Culture Minister, Paulina Urrutia, and Vice-Minister of Interior, Mr. Felipe Harboe Bascunan.
His Holiness also had a very cordial meeting with Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, the Archbishop of Santiago. Since His Holiness and the Cardinal shared many views, the meeting went on much longer than the scheduled time. More than 50 photographers and reporters waited outside the meeting room to cover the meeting of the two spiritual leaders.
Apart from these meetings, His Holiness gave an audience to Mauricio Avila, Consul General of Colombia, and Mr. Steve Reifenberg, Regional Program Director of David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies of the Harvard University , based in Santiago .
His Holiness also had a very emotional private gathering with the family members of the late Chilean-born Neuroscientist Francico Varela, the man who initiated His Holiness' dialogues with the modern scientists and co-founded with His Holiness the Colorado-based Mind and Life Institute.