Washington DC, USA, 11 July 2011 - On July 11 His
Holiness left early in the morning for the Verizon Center to continue
his preparatory rituals. Thereafter, he visited the offices of Radio
Free Asia where he was received by its President Libby Liu and other
His Holiness first gave an interview to RFA’s
Mandarin service, which was conducted by Jerry Zhao, a broadcaster. The
issues touched include the devolution of authority as well as the
future of the Middle Way Approach.
Thereafter, His Holiness met with some members of
the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Board of Radio Free Asia, and other
invited guests. Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche, Special Envoy Lodi Gyari
and Kalon Tripa-elect Lobsang Sangay were present during this session.
Following this, His Holiness addressed a select
group of staff of Radio Free Asia, including from the Tibetan service.
He began by talking about the role of the United States in this world
saying that it needed to continue its spirit of sense of concern for
others. He said the world’s greatest democracy, United States, and the
most populous democracy, India, had important role for the future
development of the world. He said that education was of paramount
importance in promoting the ideals that they represented.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama
addresses staff members at Radio Free Asia headquarters in Washington DC
on July 11, 2011. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL|
Holiness also said the radio stations had an important role to play. He
recalled the contribution of the erstwhile Radio Free Europe in helping
to educate the people on the other side of the Berlin Wall. He said now
the facilities were much better than the time of the RFE and so the
contribution to educate people who have no free information will be
extremely helpful. His Holiness said that so far there was no Mongolian
service at RFA and suggested that it may be worthwhile to begin.
His Holiness then returned to the Verizon Center. In the afternoon,
he addressed a meeting of representatives of communities that follow the
Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
For the last ten years leaders in the worldwide Tibetan Buddhist
community have been discussing ways to work together more closely,
sharing experiences and seeking common ground for the preservation of
their unique cultural identities. With the encouragement of His
Holiness, Buddhist leaders met in September 2010 in Ulaan Baatar,
Mongolia, at the invitation of Khamba Lama Gabju Choijamts Dembreel,
Abbot of the Gandan Tegchenling Monastery, to begin discussions intended
to lead to the formation of a permanent structure to preserve Tibetan
Buddhist cultures and identity. The cultures and lands included stretch
from the Tibetan plateau and entire Himalayan region to Mongolia, the
Buddhist Russian republics, and to the lands where Tibetan Buddhist
traditions have taken root in more recent times.
The Ulaan Baatar meeting was quickly followed by a second conference, held the following month in Atlanta, GA.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama
greeting representatives of Tibetan Buddhist communities after their
meeting in Washington DC on July 11, 2011. Photo/Sonam Zoksang |
Washington, D.C. meeting was a continuation of this effort to
strengthen traditional cultures with ties to the Tibetan forms of
Buddhism, focus world attention on issues of cultural loss and develop
and coordinate programs responding to the preservation of living Tibetan
Buddhist cultures as well as the integrated development needs of its
stakeholders, particularly those most disadvantaged.
In his address to the group, His Holiness began by saying that many
of the problems in today’s world are on account of a lack of moral
principles. He added that it was worthwhile to promote these moral
principles, which are connected to the basic human values.
His Holiness said that those people who prefer investigation rather
than faith tend to show interest in Buddhism. Referring to the masters
of the historical Nalanda monastery in India as professors, His Holiness
said they favored investigation. His Holiness therefore felt that the
Nalanda tradition, which Tibetan Buddhism follows, was of special
significance at this point of time.
His Holiness said he normally made three distinctions when it came
to Buddhism. First, is the subject of science that is touched in
Buddhist scriptures. He said these should be considered science and not a
religion. Secondly, there are issues like the concept of impermanence
and interdependency, which involve philosophical viewpoints. These, he
said should be considered as philosophy. The third distinction is
His Holiness said that when we discuss all these within the rubric
of religion then it would be difficult to make the distinction.
However, if we take up the issues separately then Buddhist science and
Buddhist philosophy have universal relevance, he said.
His Holiness said that given the developments in Tibet and the
Tibetan people, we depend on Mongolia to help preserve this Tibetan
Buddhist tradition. His Holiness said that to do this there was the need
of enthusiasm and for more meetings and discussions, like the one they
are having today.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama leads
the procession to decorate the Kalachakra mandala at the conclusion of
preliminary teachings in Washington DC on July 11, 2011. Photo/Tenzin
Thereafter, His Holiness continued his
preliminary teachings of the two texts, Stages of Meditation by
Kamalashila as well as the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Thokmey
Sangpo, completing the same at the end of the day. At the conclusion,
His Holiness explained his position on the issue of propitiation of
Shugden and asked those who do so not to receive initiations from him in
the coming days.
Before returning to his hotel, His Holiness led the process of
decorating the Kalachakra Mandala, which was completed today by monks of
In the evening Special Envoy Lodi Gyari hosted a reception in honor
of Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche. It was attended by serving and retired
Administration officials as well as long term friends of the Tibetan
people. The Gyalwa Karmapa also graced the occasion. The Special Envoy
thanked Prof. S. Rinpoche for his service and also introduced the Kalon
Tripa-elect, Dr. Lobsang Sangay.