Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 24 October 2010 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama spent the last day of his current visit to Toronto accepting a long life offering and giving a series of Tibetan Buddhist teachings.
In the morning, the Indian Consulate General in Toronto, Mrs. Preeti Saran, made a courtesy call on His Holiness.
Thereafter, His Holiness left for the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre, the venue of the teachings.
|Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche making requests during the long life offering for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Toronto on October 24th, 2010. Photo/OHHDL |
The programs began with a long life offering jointly sponsored by the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario and Tsengdok Monastery in Vancouver. Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche formally made the request on behalf of the sponsors.
In a brief address, His Holiness appreciated the long life offering from the Tibetan community who share tremendous faith in and close bond with him. His Holiness said the combination of the special aspiration and request made by the Kalon Tripa and his own aspiration and prayers would be fulfilled.
His Holiness then began his teachings. He made some changes by adding teachings on The Three Principal Aspects of the Path by the 14th century Gelug master Tsongkhapa and a text on Dzogchen by a 19th century Nyingma master Mipham to the already scheduled Eight Verses of Training of the Mind by the 11th century Tibetan master Langri Tangpa.
His Holiness began by bestowing Bodhicitta, the Generation of the Awakening Mind. He gave a broad overview of Buddhist philosophy and how the practitioners should be approaching them. His Holiness advised the people not to rely on devotion alone and to make effort to study. He said the people should study and understand the Kagyur and the Tengyur, the fundamental Buddhist texts, like textbooks instead of making them objects of devotion that are placed on the altar. Individuals need to have basic understanding of the Buddha Dharma and once they have that, then they will be able to put in context specific practices they may be doing.
His Holiness also said that all the Tibetan Buddhist traditions are followers of the Nalanda tradition explaining that their masters trace their spiritual source to Nalanda masters.
At the conclusion of his teachings, His Holiness explained why he chose to give a teaching on a Nyingma text. He said that he had deep admiration for all the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and has received teachings like Lamdre (from the Sakya School) and Dzogchen (from the Nyingma School). He said there were some people who tend to emphasize the difference and to indicate that there is no commonality in all the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. He said during the Tibetan Buddhist Conference in Atlanta recently, he had told the gathering that people tend to emphasize the branches and neglecting the trunk that is the commonality. He said today’s teachings from different traditions show the commonality of all the Tibetan Buddhist traditions.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama address guests celebrating the dialogue of reconciliation between Tibetans and Chinese in Toronto on October 24, 2010. Photo/OHHDL |
Before the afternoon teaching, His Holiness consecrated the Centre’s prayer wheels and addressed guests at a luncheon to celebrate the dialogue of reconciliation between Tibetans and Chinese. Senator Consiglio DiNino welcomed His Holiness.
In his address, His Holiness said he was just a messenger of the ancient Indian thoughts of Ahimsa and religious harmony. His Holiness suggested that people could organize events to highlight the importance of these values. He said the Tibetans have a non-violent culture and hoped that the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre would be able to undertake activities promoting these values. He also invited people to support the Centre.
A Tibetan and a Chinese youth then informed His Holiness of their ongoing discussions following the 2007 initial interaction between youths of the two communities. Special Envoy Lodi Gyari had addressed the gathering prior to His Holiness’ arrival, on how grassroots efforts can complement formal dialogue.
|Some of the audience who attended the teachings held at the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto, Canada, on October 24th, 2010. Photo/Sonam Zoksang|
Following the teaching, Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario President Norbu Tsering gave a financial statement relating to the three-day events.
All major Chinese language newspapers in North America, including Sing Tao, The World Journal and Ming Pao, gave wide coverage to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Toronto, including his interaction with the Chinese community.
His Holiness departs from Toronto on October 25 morning for Miami for the last legof his current tour of Canada and the United States.