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Dalai Lama Addresses Sold Out Barton Crowd
Carly Schlamowitz
| October 10, 2007
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On Tuesday, October 9th, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet visited Cornell University for a lecture from 2 to 4PM in Barton Hall. Addressing a sold out crowd, his talk, titled "A Human Approach to World Peace", was dedicated to a much larger concept of peace - peace on the national level, the family level, and the individual level. The speaking engagement began with a welcome by Cornell President David Skorton, who expressed his sincere appreciation for this second visit by His Holiness. The Dalai Lama had last spoken to Cornell and the Greater Ithaca community in 1991. Following this formal greeting, the Dalai Lama took the stage, addressing the crowd as "Brothers and Sisters". As expected, he presented practices by which individuals can work towards a peaceful, compassionate society; but the lecture took an unexpected turn with a crack about his feeling "secondary" in a crowd of professors, scholars, and such distinguished members of the Cornell and Ithaca community as President Skorton. Following this comment, His Holiness let out a silly laugh which set the mood for the very informal lecture he gave sitting cross-legged in a comfortable lounge chair at the front of Barton Hall. Much of the Dalai Lama's talk was focused on peace and clarifying common misconceptions of the term. His Holiness said, "Everyone wants a happy life. Nobody wants disturbances. Peace does not mean the mere absence of violence. Genuine peace must come through inner peace." He said, "When facing problems, try to solve them without losing basic human values. [Take the] nonviolent approach; it's much safer, much better." A final speaker from the Cornell Department of Anthropology expressed his deep appreciation for the Dalai Lama's "supremely sensible words." The speaker noted that, "In a time when the world is wrapped in conflict, it is especially enlightening to be educated through an alternate path, the Buddhist world view, expressed by His Holiness." These thoughts were, without a doubt, echoed by every member of the Barton Hall audience - an attentive group of all ages, religious beliefs, and cultural backgrounds. The Dalai Lama's visit was sponsored by Ithaca's Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies, the North American seat of the Dalai Lama's personal monastery. His lecture was certainly timely with the new location of the Namgyal Monastery entering the final stages of construction on Ithaca's South Hill. The Monastery will stand to enhance the dialogue between science and Buddhism. His Holiness concluded his Ithaca visit with a second lecture, titled "Prayers for World Peace", given this morning at the State Theatre in Ithaca from 10 a.m. to noon.
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