Dublin, Ireland, 13 April 2011 (Irishtimes.com) - Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has urged Irish people not to be discouraged or lose hope as they struggle to cope with the financial crisis.
In his first visit to Ireland in 20 years, the exiled Nobel peace laureate spoke to a sold-out conference of 2,000 people on the first leg of a two-day trip.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Richard Moore at the Possibilities civic summit in Dublin, Ireland on April 13th, 2011.
Blinded by a British soldier in Northern Ireland aged 10, Mr Moore said the purpose of the conference was to create a sense of community for people facing the despair of financial ruin.
|Members of the 2,000 strong audience listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Richard Moore at the "Possibilities" summit in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13th, 2011. Photo/Speirs|
Dressed in his traditional red Buddhist robes, the Dalai Lama said he had an emotional connection with Ireland as the country supported his initiative to raise the political plight of Tibet at the United Nations in 1959.
He fled his country that year after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, and now lives in India.The Dalai Lama said he did not know much about “money matters”, but said friends had told him the global recession was caused by short-sightedness and too much greed.
People who rely solely on money, he said, suffer greatly, and he suggested a happy family life filled with love and affection would bring inner peace.
Asked if people should forgive reckless bankers, he said forgiveness did not mean one should forget.
The Dalai Lama said people should criticise, but not allow anger to come into their thoughts. “Once anger comes into your mind - biased,” he said. “So your criticism will not be genuine.”
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama is greeted by local school children in Kildare, Ireland, on April 13th, 2011. Photo/Tenzin Taklha/OHHDL|
The 2,000-strong crowd at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin gave him a standing ovation as he began his at times humorous and cheeky speech, none of which was scripted.
More than 1,200 tickets for the event sold out within five days of going on sale on February 1st. The remaining 800 tickets were sold cheaply or given away to youth and community groups throughout the country.
As he clasped Mr Moore’s hands, the Dalai Lama urged people to be warm-hearted and compassionate, which he said was good for the health. The crowd gave him a standing ovation as he stepped down from the stage, greeting well-wishers and supporters as he went.
Former Irish president and ex-United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson was also among the speakers, along with performances from Irish musicians, theatre from schoolchildren at Scoil Eoghan in Moville, Co Donegal, and other acts.
|His Holiness and Richard Moore, carrying the Brigid Flame, walking to St Brigid's Parish Church in Kildare, Ireland, on April 13th, 2011. Photo/Tenzin Taklha/OHHDL|
He was presented with the Brigid Flame, in recognition of his work for peace and his lifelong commitment to non-violence, along with other gifts before addressing a crowd of up to 700 people at St Brigid’s Parish Church and holding a private reflection.
The Dalai Lama formally announced earlier this month that he plans to step down as Tibet’s head of state and make way for his elected replacement.
He will deliver a special address entitled “The Power of Forgiveness” at the University of Limerick tomorrow. All 3,100 tickets for the event have already sold out.
It is his third trip to the Republic.
He has made three separate visits to Northern Ireland, in 2000, 2005 and 2007. He paid a one-day visit to the Republic on October 11th, 1973, when he was received at Áras an Uachtaráin by then-president, the late Erskine Childers. e made subsequent visit in March, 1991, two years after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.