HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA MAKES A HISTORIC VISIT TO SUN VALLEY, IDAHO TO DELIVER AMESSAGE OF COMPASSION TO AMERICA
On the fourth anniversary of the September 11 tragedy, His Holiness delivers words of inspiration and hope as Americans cope with a new national tragedy caused by Hurricane Katrina
Sun Valley, ID, - September 11, 2005 -As Americans face a new national tragedy caused by the devastating Hurricane Katrina, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits Sun Valley, ID, September 11-14,2005 delivering a timely message of compassion and healing, through a number of public and private events.
"The world is at a critical point spiritually," says event sponsor Kiril Sokoloff. "After one of the bloodiest centuries b human history we are ready to swing to a century of compassion. Recent events in the Gulf Coast point to a tangible need for each one of us to reach out to one another and offer 'Jur hand in friendship. I believe that His Holiness' visit to Sun Valley will act as a catalyst for compassion."
His Holiness makes his first visit to Sun Valley at the invitation of Sokoloff, who is a personal friend and Idaho resident. His four days in Idaho has attracted a medley of politicians, children, business leaders, religious leaders and Idaho residents who will attend the various events to reflect on the need for compassion in all aspects of our lives. His Holiness will be introducing his speech on This Week on ABC.
Marking the fourth anniversary of the September II tragedy, His Holiness will address over 10,000 US residents in Hailey, ID, with his message of compassion and a call to action. The speech, which will be broadcast live on CNN, will further etch the current crisis in America into the national consciousness. For the last 40 years, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Tibetan spiritual leader has traveled the world spreading compassion and kindness, a timely message for Americans in light and in remembrance of recent events.
At the request of Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthome, His Holiness will deliver a special message and blessing to over 10,000 Idahoan children and families on Monday, September 12, also in Hailey, ID. Children from all over Idaho have been preparing for this event, scripting their own definitions of compassion. These thoughts have been captured in a short film, Universal Compassion, which will be premiered at the event. Select essays will also be presented to His Holiness by the young authors. Additionally, a special song has been composed to honor His Holiness' visit, "The Heart of Every Child" an original song inspired by the essays of the honored children, and will be performed by a trio of local children.
"We are thrilled to host this children's blessing. Children are the seeds of the future and this event will hopefully inspire children all over the country and the world to lead more compassionate lives," says Governor Kempthorne. "His Holiness' visit has created a positive energy around our community. We can't wait to welcome him."
"The prayer wheel is a device for spreading well being. It is filled with a million prayers, and spinning the prayer wheel will disseminate blessings to the four comers of the world," says Tendzin Dhonden, special emissary for His Holiness.
Rounding out his Sun Valley visit, His Holiness will meet with more than 100 religious leaders of different faiths on Wednesday, September 14, to discuss what unites the different religions and how they can bridge the differences. Prolific author, Karen Armstrong, will moderate the panel.
The enthronement ceremony took place on February 22, 1940 in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.
In 1959 His Holiness escaped to India where he was given political asylum. Some 80,000 Tibetan refugees followed His Holiness into exile. Today, there are more than 120,000 Tibetan in exile. Since 1960, he has resided in Dharamsala, India, known as "Little Lhasa," the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-exile.
Since 1967, His Holiness initiated a series of journeys that have taken him to some 46 nations. In autumn of 1991, he visited the Baltic States at the invitation of Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis of Lithuania and became the first foreign leader to address the Lithuanian Parliament. His Holiness met with the late Pope Paul VI at the Vatican in 1973. At a press conference in Rome in 1980, he outlined his hopes for the meeting with John Paul II: "We live in a period of great crisis, a period of troubling world developments. It is not possible to find peace in the soul without security and harmony between peoples. For this reason, I look forward with faith and hope to my meeting with the Holy Father; to an exchange of ideas and feelings, and to his suggestions, so as to open the door to a progressive pacification between peoples." His Holiness met Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1980, 1982, 1986, 1988 and 1990. In 1981, His Holiness talked with Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Robert Runcie, and with other leaders of the Anglican Church in London. He also met with leaders of the Roman Catholic and Jewish communities and spoke at an interfaith service held in his honor by the World Congress of Faiths: "I always believe that it is much better to have a variety of religions, a variety of philosophies, rather than one single religion or philosophy. This is necessary because of the different mental dispositions of each human being. Each religion has certain unique ideas or techniques, and learning about them can only enrich one's own faith."
Since his first visit to the west in the early 1973, a number of western universities and institutions have conferred Peace A wards and honorary Doctorate Degrees in recognition of His Holiness' distinguished writings in Buddhist philosophy and for his leadership in the solution of international conflicts, human rights issues and global environmental problems. In presenting the Raoul Wallenberg Congressional Human Rights A ward in 1989, U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos said, "His Holiness the Dalai Lama's courageous struggle has distinguished him as a leading proponent of human rights and world peace. His ongoing efforts to end the suffering of the Tibetan people through peaceful negotiations and reconciliation have required enormous courage and sacrifice."
The Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision to award the 1989 Peace Prize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama won worldwide praise and applause, with exception of China. The Committee's citation read, "The Committee wants to emphasize the fact that the Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people."
On 10 December 1989, His Holiness accepted the prize on the behalf of oppressed everywhere and all those who struggle for freedom and work for world peace and the people of Tibet. In his remarks he said, "The prize reaffirms our conviction that with truth, courage and determination as our weapons, Tibet will be liberated. Our struggle must remain nonviolent and free of hatred."
His Holiness follows the life of Buddhist monk. Living in a small cottage in Dharamsala, he rises at 4 A.M. to meditate, pursues an ongoing schedule of administrative meetings, private audiences and religious teachings and ceremonies. He concludes each day with
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