Madison, WI, USA, 18 July 2008 (By Marilee Wertlake) - His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was warmly greeted at the Madison airport by a number of dignitaries including Wisconsin State Senate President Fred Risser, Director and Abbot of Deer Park Buddhist Center Geshe Llundup Sopa, NATA Coordinator Tashi Namgyal, and President of the Wisconsin Tibetan Association, Lobsang Tenzin. Mayor of Madison Dave Cieslewicz and the Common Council showed their support by honoring the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by voting to fly the Tibetan flag above the City-County Building for the entirety of His Holiness’ stay in Wisconsin.
His Holiness is in Madison for seven busy days that will culminate on the last day with an auspicious tenshug (Long Life Prayer Offering) for him. Saturday will see him consecrating the new Deer Park Buddhist Center temple in the morning and in the afternoon he will be giving a public talk at the Alliant Energy Center.
Waiting expectantly at Deer Park for His Holiness to arrive was a large audience of people of all ages and nationalities. Once his car arrived, the crowd quietly stepped up to the long driveway to greet His Holiness. Stepping out of the car with a smile, His Holiness slowly walked the long driveway, greeting people, stopping to talk in Tibetan with some, shaking hands, all the while smiling. At the top of the driveway, he was greeted by dancers in snow lion costumes, conch shells sounding, singers singing people. The last the audience could see of His Holiness, he was under a golden umbrella being greeted by members of the monastery.