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Zurich (Switzerland), 10 April 2010

Over 10,000 people attend His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s public talk

Over 10,000 people filled Zurich city’s largest hall Hallenstadion yesterday afternoon to hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak on Universal Responsibility and the Economy. The program started with the Tibetan language schools’ children singing a Tibetan song in front of His Holiness and the audience.

His Holiness arriving for his public talk in Zurich

After the public talk, His Holiness the Dalai Lama took few questions from the audience. In response to a question on the present situation in Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “We are not seeking one side win and oneside loose. We are seeking mutual benefit (for China and Tibet) through dialogue.”

His Holiness said that there must be transparency in China as the one billon Chinese people have the right to know the truth and making judgements for themselves.

Over 10'500 people listened to His Holiness public talk

Following the public talk, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Mr. Penpa Tsering and Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche addressed the Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Also Presidents and Vice-Presidents of Tibetan communities across Europe will be presented during this event. Over 4,000 Tibetans were present.

President (left) and Vice-President (right) listening to His Holiness address to the Tibetan community

In his opening remark, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that this must be the largest gathering of Tibetans in Switzerland. He congratulated the Tibetans for maintaining the Tibetan way of life in Switzerland. His Holiness expressed his appreciation to the older generation for giving good guardian to the younger generation in maintaining the Tibetan religion, culture, language and identity.

He emphasised that the public service combined with your professional commitment was important.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that the reason why we are in exile hasn’t changed and we cannot forget this. “The situation in Tibet faced by fellow Tibetans is very serious and dangerous. They have great expectation from us in exile. We can never forget this,” said His Holiness.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that we became refugees not because of civil war or disaster, but a new guest came to Tibet without invitation.

“Till we die, we are Tibetan,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

 

Day 3 of Mind and Life XX conference in Zurich

Session 5

The final session of ML XX began with Roshi Joan Halifax quoting His Holiness from years ago Compassion is not a luxury, it is a necessity for human beings to survive. Moving on to the sole formal presentation of the session, William George of Harvard Business School spoke of compassionate, authentic leadership. In his view it is essential for a healthy society. He sees the global financial mess not as an economic failure, but a spiritual failure; peoples desire for more and more satisfaction derived from materialism led down a path of greed and destruction. There is a loss of confidence in our leaders today, but failures in leadership ultimately come from leaders who place their self-interest ahead of others, inevitably causing great damage.

However, on the bright side, we are seeing the emergence of a new type of leadership, and this growing style is no longer based on Top Down management it is based on empowerment. The job of a leader is to serve, not to exert brute authority. The mission of organizations should be to serve society, not shareholders, according to Mr. George. Over the long term, this is what sustains performance.

But leaders are not born or made, they are developed. Bill asked the Dalai Lama, How do you think we can develop more leaders? His Holiness replied, I believe it comes from the training of inner values. Which many of you out there may already know, but you may not be fully convinced. I think mainly education will help development. With proper thought, we can make education and other fields develop more compassionate people. Even Hitler didnt start out evil from birth; it was his development and the circumstances of his life that allowed him to become who he was. Though the media in Jerusalem made it sound like I called him a positive person when I first said this.

His Holiness continued, You should spread these ideas about this type of leadership through talks, to the media, so that they are well known. Make a list of the qualities that this leader would have and list them A, B, C, and so on. And then when people go to elections, they can take this list and judge who their leaders might be based on this list!

Richard Davidson returned to the stage and took a moment to thank His Holiness for making this twentieth Mind & Life dialogue possible. This could never have happened with anyone else. No other world leader has spent so much time in dialogue with scientists, he said to commanding applause. Well, I dont have a country to run, joked His Holiness. I have been quite free! Thupten Jinpa chimed in, He does it partly to pass the time! After summarizing the first sessions scientific findings, he said, Over these sessions, weve seen that in practice as well as in basic research that there are distinct gender differences when it comes to altruism and compassion. Why do you think that is?

I think the neurons are the same, organs are the same, His Holiness mused after a moment. The Buddha would have wanted to give equal opportunities to men and women. Discrimination has often been in the way of equality. Masculine traits have been associated as strength. Feminine is wisdom. We must develop toward a mother-centered being; she would be the ultimate source of affection. Over this meeting we have been learning that women biologically have more sensitivity to this. Throughout evolution, leadership only came recently, when groups evolved to become more complex. Power stepped in and kept stability, which pushed education and compassion to more secondary roles.

Ive learned much from living in India liberty, democracy. he continued. Because so many of the thoughts and ideas I have had developed while in India, I now consider myself a son of India. Which always irritates my bosses in China! He also said that intelligence alone is not enough; we need more compassion. Education will help bring equality to males and females. Women should take more of the active leadership roles. Although, he quipped, some females not so compassionate!

Ernst Fehr thought of some challenges for the future. What in Buddhism could be translated to the context of this conference? he asked His Holiness.

It is clear that we need different religions, began the Dalai Lamas response. They have different perspectives but produce similar effects. A Muslim friend told me how a true practitioner must love all living creatures. We have to tackle the root cause of the problems in economic systems. We must recognize secular ethics. There is Buddhist science, Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist religion. Leave out the religion and look at the Buddhist science. Buddhism brings the necessity of compassion to social sciences. Your happiness is related to others happiness. All interconnected. Buddhist science provides better knowledge about emotion. He continued, However, we should respect all religions; do not try to convert people. Respect. Is Buddhism useful for economics in society? No. But take the values and perspectives of a religious person, and utilize that.

His Holiness with the speakers of the XX Mind & Life Conference

His Holiness thanked everyone for such an important conference, and he expressed how encouraged he felt with what had been discussed. Thus ended Mind & Life XX: Altruism and Compassion in Economic Systems. By all accounts, there were great dialogue, very insightful research presentations, examples of real world economic compassion and happiness with how it all intertwined. Tashi Delek!

 

His Holiness during the Tibetan National Anthem before adressing the Tibetan community in Switzerland & Liechtenstein

His Holiness giving interview to Swiss National TV

  


  

Zurich (Switzerland), 10 April 2010

Over 8,000 people gathered at the heart of Zurich city to express solidarity with Tibet

Over 8,000 people gathered at Münsterhof, in the heart of Zurich city to express solidarity with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people.

His Holiness at the Tibet Solidarity-Rally in Zurich

“Expressing solidarity with our cause is very useful to remind China of the Tibetan cause,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “I very much appreciate it.” He further said that the Chinese Government must address the reality of the Tibetan problem. His Holiness added that he was 100 percent certain that the Tibetan issue will not disappear, despite China using force and suppression on the Tibetan people. He reiterated that he was not seeking separation from China.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said he welcomed people’s support of Tibet’s non-violence struggle and asked them to also practice non-violence at home.

Solidarity rally is important for the Tibetan struggle, as it snow that it is not the struggle of few Tibetans but ordinary people worldwide are showing support. His Holiness spoke about two of his three commitments in life 1) human value and 2) religious harmony.

At the end of His Holiness’ address at the Solidarity Rally, he said, “So my brothers and sisters, please think of these two points. Please promote these two points. If you do this, it shows you are a good friend of the Dalai Lama.”

In the morning, His Holiness addressed the First European Tibetan Youth Parliament. The aim of the Youth Parliament is to bring together young Tibetans from across Europe to discuss Tibetan issue and working together across Europe especially.

His Holiness addressing the First European Tibetan Youth Parliament

Tendon Dahortsang, the President of Tibetan Youth Association in Europe in her welcome address said, “Though we have grown up in different parts of the world, we are Tibetans and to serve the Tibetan people’s struggle.”

She said that during her first visit to Tibet in 2002, she met an elderly Tibetan in Lhasa who asked where she came from. During their talk, the elderly Tibetan said that the Tibetan people in Tibet have great expectations from the Tibetan in exile community especially the youth.

The president (left) and vice-president (right) of the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe accompanying His Holiness

The First European Tibetan Youth Parliament conference is organized by the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe, based in Switzerland. This year Tibetan Youth Association in Europe is marking the 40th Anniversary since it was founded.

In his address to the First European Tibetan Youth Parliament, His Holiness said that that the older Tibetan generation is dying. It is the responsibility of the younger generation to continue the struggle of Tibet. In 2008, the world heard the suffering of three generation of Tibetan.

“We are the representatives of the Tibetans in Tibet. Thinking about the future of Tibet is important,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Question & Answer session at the First European Tibetan Youth Parliament

His Holiness addressing the Solidarity Rally for Tibet

His Holiness with some artists of the Solidarity Rally

His Holiness and members of the board of Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association

 

Day 2 of Mind and Life XX conference in Zurich

Session 3

“What are the recent most important findings from economic research which help us to understand how cooperation, how decision-making and pro-social behavior work?” This is how Gert Scobel of 3sat opened the introduction to Session 3 on Day 2. Lord Richard Layard of the London School of Economics, after discussing different situations where competition or cooperation would be more appropriate, talked about how increased wealth does not correlate with increased happiness. Many people are stuck in a world of ‘social comparisons,’ where status is more important than being economically comfortable. He emphasized that while wealth is increasing, mental health is on the decline; and to combat this he introduced the Movement for Happiness to try to both increase happiness and reduce misery in the world. The Dalai Lama agreed to support the movement – “But don’t expect money!”

His Holiness asked, “Why is it that I’ve seen studies where the level of happiness is higher in Cuba than in the United Kingdom?” Lord Layard said that it may result from greater cooperation among the members of Cuba’s society, a necessity in such a poor country. Lord Layard polled the audience to see if they thought that people in general can be trusted. Overwhelmingly the answer was yes. His Holiness laughed, “In this hall, the people are very good, very trusting. People outside this hall, I don’t know!”

Later His Holiness remarked, “The G7, the G20, none of these groups are focused on happiness. We need more cooperation based on trust, on respect, on love. ‘I need you.’ We must base our interactions on that idea. ‘I want happiness, and I need you. We need they. You must first extend your hand to others; you cannot wait for people to come to you for cooperation. This is most important.”

William Harbaugh of the University of Oregon started by explaining how current economic systems have self-correcting measures built in. Self-interest is a reliable strategy as goods are produced and distributed; and as rules are enforced to prevent one from harming others, the threat of punishment will keep actors in line, serving their self-interest. Welfare of the poor is not a market good, it is a public good. We should develop ‘warm-glow’ altruism to gain both external profit for those in need of the public good and internal profit by getting neural benefit. Pure altruism, where nothing is gained, may not work in an economic system; but ‘warm-glow’ altruism, where you know it will produce a feeling of satisfaction by directly helping others, is very effective and will compel people to want to do it again.

“What does altruism do for us?” Ernst Fehr asked as he returned to the stage. Public goods, as he defined, can be consumed by all members of a group, regardless of whether they contribute to them. Democratic liberty, the environment, etc. – these are examples of public goods. There is an undersupply of public goods in the world if people act selfishly. “Why do people start out acting altruistically, especially in these trust experiment games you perform?” asked His Holiness. “Many people start out very optimistic about others, but after witnessing selfishness in others, their altruism diminishes to the point where it almost ceases to exist,” replied Ernst. How can we solve this problem? Altruistic sanctioning of non-cooperation – the ability to punish those who act selfishly and harm others. Once it is introduced into the arena, cooperation immediately soars and becomes almost universal.

Session 4

Audience of Mind & Life Conference

Antoinette Hunziker-Ebneter, CEO of Forma Futura Invest Inc., declared the we, all of us, are responsible for our economic system, and the problems that arise out of it. Do we want to create a better system, with more sustainable outcomes, with more focus on people’s good, rather than materialism and selfishness? People are starting to question investment strategies to find stocks that coincide with their personal worldview. We are seeing a shift from a desire for quantity to quality, from pure profit to profit with a purpose. Intangible benefits need more prominence such as health, freedom of choice, etc. Revolution, rather than evolution, is necessary, as time is not in our favor to wait for the sustainable financial system to organically arise. Part of the solution is to invest in the companies that support our endgoal of compassion and altruism.

“I think human intelligence can and should be applied to working on solutions like this,” remarked His Holiness. “Material development can only grow so far, so there should eventually be a sense of contentment with where we end up. However, mental development should never be content.”

Arthur Vayloyan, of Credit Suisse, asked, “What can a bank do to help reduce poverty in the world?” Microfinance (not just microcredit) is part of the solution; it is defined as providing all basic, classical financial services for the poor. From his team’s beginning, investing in very small projects such as a woman in Cambodia who started with a loan of $13, Credit Suisse and other institutions have helped bring the size of microfinance to current global investments of about $45 billion. But aid alone, especially from governments and NGOS, will not do the job; throwing money at a problem without a very clear strategy will only pollute the problem. No one believed that this sort of venture would work. Arthur quoted Nelson Mandela – “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

Sanjit “Bunker” Roy conveyed his inspiring personal story with his time. After an expensive education, he was inspired to abandon the prospects of a well-to-do life upon visiting a poor village for the first time. He started the Barefoot College, an institution built by the poor, staffed by the poor, and dedicated to the education of the poor. No one with formal education is allowed. The policy is to visit destitute villages around the world, searching for people to train to become solar engineers. Only women are allowed. “Because we have found men are untrainable.” Bunker asked if His Holiness agreed with this conclusion. “Yes,” he said. “I am a lost cause.” Grandmothers, in particular, are ideal for this. At the Barefoot College, they are taught by sign language and by example how to build, repair, and maintain solar panels. “With solar panels, the Indian women we train are so precise, not like normal Indian women. They are not always so precise.” His Holiness joked, “Also Tibetan women!” After they are ready, they return to the village and install units around their village, at the cost of $2 per month. This has allowed the solar electrification of 600 villages in India alone.

“Real transformation comes from villages and projects like this. Change must come from the bottom,” His Holiness mused. Responding to a question about how this will affect migration to urban areas, Bunker said, “Develop the quality of life in villages, and this will prevent people from moving away to the cities.”

Matthieu Ricard finished the session with a brief few comments about humanitarian work. It is growing everywhere, especially on small scale projects. Non-government organizations can tease altruistic cooperation out of the groups and cultures they touch. They should confederate to continue and increase this very important work.

Ven. Matthieu Ricard during the Mind & Life session

Thus ended a rousing day of dialogue. Immediately following the day’s proceedings, all the participants except His Holiness huddled together to begin formulating the last session, an integration of the ideas we have been presented with and as well a compass for the direction we want to follow going forward. Tomorrow will be a grand day!

  


  

Zurich (Switzerland), 9 April 2010

The Mind and Life XX conference starts in Zurich

More information on: www.compassionineconomics.org

Session 1

After introductory remarks by Adam Engle, CEO and co-founder of the Mind & Life Institute, Rector Andreas Fischer – the President of the University of Zurich – welcomed everyone and introduced His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

His Holiness during the opening session of the Mind & Life conference

His Holiness then took the stage and said, “I do not know how to make money. But I know it can be useful.” He relayed a story where he asked one of his business friends about the roots of the current economic crisis, and his friend told him it was greed, possibly even the desire to cheat for profit. “Even I know this is bad for the economic system,” His Holiness said. He also spoke of a wish for all of us to continue striving for enhanced wisdom, and pondered whether the results of this conference may point toward a better direction for economic systems.

Roshi Joan Halifax outlined the direction of the conference and handed it over to the presenters. Dan Batson, of the University of Kansas, opened with a very direct question – Does altruism exist? After speaking about egoism and empathy, he referenced empathy-based experiments and what they might infer. Tania Singer, of the University of Zurich, explained two neural routes to understanding others’ minds – via empathy and compassion and via the “theory of mind,” the conscious thinking of someone else’s mental state. After explaining neural networks and their relation to compassionate thoughts and feelings, she talked of how some people have a deficit in comprehending their own feelings. Studies of meditation have been shown to help this deficiency.

His Holiness and the President of the University of Zurich

Richard Davidson, of the University of Wisconsin, followed up on these ideas and posited two big points – that there are different levels of empathy and compassion in people, which have biological roots, and empathy and compassion can be regarded as skills, which can be trained and enhanced. He then reviewed neuroscientific research in these areas; results showed that subjects who had more extensive mental training had a greater tendency to exhibit signs of altruism. Matthieu Ricard, of Shechen Monastary, presented last and helped enlighten the audience to Buddhist notions of compassion, empathy and altruism. For example, compassion is the desire to help alleviate suffering in others, whatever it may be.

Session 2

The afternoon session began with Joan Silk of UCLA, who defined altruism biologically, as seen in other species. Research has shown that altruism is common and beneficial in many species. As humans develop during childhood, they trend away from this commonality in other species.

One notable exchange during the conversation with His Holiness went as follows. “Does hostility come from not being connected? For instance, if bees from one colony are mixed with bees from another colony, do they see each other as alien or other?” Joan replied, “There doesn’t seem to be much flexibility in their behavior, though I do not know much of bees. So the ‘outgroup’ or ‘other’ perspective seems to remain intact.” His Holiness mused, “Does biological altruism require the ability to appreciate others? Mosquitoes, I think, have no appreciation! One may land on me, and I let it feed. But then it flies away and shows no appreciation!”

Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich then talked about how true altruism in humans is rare, as we normally want or expect benefit for our costs, especially within economics. He defined altruism as actions to benefit an ‘other,’ but at cost to the actor and with no envisioned gain for the actor at the outcome, except possibly psychological benefit like happiness. Tania Singer then spoke about 3 motivational systems in the human brain: incentive-focused, threat-focused, and non-wanting-affiliation-focused. She talked of experiments to increase trust among individuals. John Dunne, of Emory University, explained compassion and altruism from the Buddhist perspective as they might relate to economics. One of the ultimate goals is happiness, so what are the costs and resources needed to attain that goal? The resources are internal, and thus of the highest value. If we can realign our priorities to focus on maintaining and enhancing our internal resources, we may see a shift toward a better economic system. He spoke of a Buddhist technique of internalizing the idea that all sentient beings were at some point your mother in a previous life; you can extend the feeling or connection you have with your mother to all beings. “Not that everyone has the greatest connection with their mother, but you understand what I mean,” John said. “I had a GOOD mother, though, just to be clear.” “So did I,” laughed His Holiness.

So, today was a ground-laying time of concepts and large ideas, setting us up for tomorrow, which will start exploring possibilities of where we go and of applied economics to further some of these ideas.

During the lunch break, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said at the Meet the Press session, “Recent economic crisis shows money fails to bring inner peace.” His Holiness spoke about two of his three commitments in life 1) human value and 2) religious harmony.

His Holiness said that this year marks the 50th Anniversary of Tibetans arriving in Switzerland. He said the Government of India had extended maximum assistance on the Tibetans arrival in India from Tibet. He thanked Switzerland for welcoming Tibetan refugees. "It is our duty to thank the Swiss government, (its) people and in particular the Swiss Red Cross" for assistance to Tibetan refugees since 1960.

Tibetan spirit is very alive in Tibet and the community in exile carries the same Tibetan spirit alive. Tibetans in Switzerland are good Swiss citizens but carry Tibetan spirit and contributing to the Swiss Economy.

During lunch break, His Holiness met with the press

 

His Holiness with Dr. Tanja Singer, one of the organizer of the XXth Mind & Life conference

Audience of the Mind & Life conference

His Holiness leaving the Mind & Life conference venue

  


  

Zurich (Switzerland), 8 April 2010

Thank you Switzerland, said His Holiness the Dalai Lama Zurich

8 April - His Holiness the Dalai Lama thanked the Swiss Government, Red Cross and the people, local governments, organisations and individual for their generous assistance to Tibetans for the last five decades. “It is our Tibetan culture and tradition to thank those who help us. Therefore, I would like to express our gratitude to you”, said His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Looking back last 51 years, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said there have been both sad and happy moments, sometimes no hope, sometimes some hope and at times with more confidence. He said that during difficult times, there is the good nature of human beings to show solidarity and help. He acknowledged the work of Dr. Toni Hagen, the initiator of the Tibetan settlement project.

Dr. Katrin Hagen, the daughter of late Dr. Hagen spoke about her father’s work with the Tibetan refugee project. The former director of Pestalozzi's Children Village in Trogen, Mr. Arthur Bill emotionally spoke about his first contacts with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the education of young boys and girls at Trogen.

Mrs. Sigrid Joss-Arnd, a former staff of the Red Cross who was involved with the resettlement of the Tibetans since the early 1960 said, “I was extremely relieved to hear that His Holiness the Dalai Lama had safely crossed into India in 1959.”

from left: Dr. Katrin Hagen (daughter of late Dr. Toni Hagen), Mrs. Sigrid Joss-Arnd, His Holiness and Dr. Arthur Bill

In October 1960, 20 Tibetans boys and girls arrived for education at the Pestalozzi's Children Village in Trogen, Switzerland. The Swiss Government on 29 March 1963 approved the re-settlement of 1,000 Tibetans. Tibetans were the first non-European refugees in Switzerland.

Today there are about 4,000 Tibetans living in Switzerland.

Merci Schwiiz – Thank You Switzerland programme was organised by the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association and the Tibetan Community.

In the morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited the Tibet Institute in Rikon. His Holiness asked the motorcade to stop at the beginning of the long line of Tibetans waiting for his arrival in run up to the Tibetan Monastery. He walked slowly past the Tibetans, occasionally calling names of people he recognized in the crowd.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that he was very happy and impressed with the work of the Tibetan monastery especially its activities in Switzerland and within some Tibetan monasteries in India.

“You have done a wonderful job,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He thanked the gathered audience for their support. “Without your help, this is not possible,” he said.

His Holiness and the monks community of Rikon Tibetan Monaster

Mrs. Pascale Bruderer Wyss, President of the Swiss Parliament attended the ceremony at the monastery. She called on His Holiness the Dalai Lama after the ceremony. She is a member of the Tibet Group in the Swiss Parliament and last met His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2005.

His Holiness with Mrs. Pascale Bruderer-Wyss, President of Swiss National Parliament

At the end of the ceremony at the monastery, His Holiness walked towards a large Tibetan audience and took a group photo together. It was an extremely emotional moment for Tibetans to see their beloved leader taking so much time to meet and talk to fellow Tibetans despite the extremely busy schedule.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s last engagement of the day was meeting with the members of the Tibet Group in the Swiss Parliament.

His Holiness on throne inside the Rikon Tibetan Monastery

His Holiness with representatives of Swiss Parliament, Canton and City of Zurich

His Holiness giving interview during meeting the Swiss National Parliament's President to the Swiss TV

His Holiness with Mr. Mario Fehr, President of Swiss Parliamentary Group of Tibet and Mrs. Pascale Bruderer-Wyss, President of Swiss National Parliament

His Holiness blessing the Tibetans in front of the Rikon Tibetan Monastery

His Holiness welcomed by traditional Tibetan dances before Thank You Switzerland celebration

His Holiness greeting the audience of Thank You Switzerland celebration

The Tibetan dance group of Switzerland's Tibetan community

Dr. Arthur Bill telling stories about his first contact with Tibetan refugees

His Holiness speaking to the members of the Swiss Parliamentary Group for Tibet

His Holiness with members of Swiss Parliamentary Group for Tibet and representatives of the City of Zurich

  


  

Zurich (Switzerland), 7 April 2010

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's arrival in Zurich, Switzerland in picture

All photos by Manuel Bauer

His Holiness disembarking after arriving at the Zurich airport

Counsellor Ajaneesh Kumar of the Indian Embassy in Switzerland (left) and Abbot of the Rikon Tibet Monastery welcoming His Holiness

The motorcade of His Holiness leaving the Zurich airport area

His Holiness accompanied by police motor-bikes from the airport to the hotel in the city

Traditional Tibetan welcome ceremony in front of the hotel

Tibetans and Swiss people greeting His Holiness in front of the hotel

After arrival, His Holiness gave an interview to the Swiss National TV's programme Sternstunden,
a broadcast about religion, philosophy and culture

His Holiness during the interview for Swiss National TV

 


 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama to thank Switzerland for 50 years hospitality and support, and will be the key speaker at the Mind and Life Conference in Zurich.

Zurich - 7 April: His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Zurich starting today marks 50 years since the arrival of Tibetans in Switzerland. At Merci Schwiiz (Thank You Switzerland) programme on 8 April, His Holiness will thank Switzerland for 50 years hospitality and humanitarian assistance to the Tibetans living in Switzerland, India and Nepal. In October 1960, 20 Tibetans boys and girls arrived for education at the Pestalozzi's Children Village in Trogen, Switzerland.

The Swiss Government on 29 March 1963 approved the re-settlement of 1,000 Tibetans. Today there are about 4,000 Tibetans living in Switzerland.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will visit the Tibetan Institute in Rikon - the oldest Tibetan monastery in the West on 8 April morning. The monastery has monks from the four schools of Tibetan Buddhist tradition and is the cultural centre of the Tibetan community.

Mrs. Pascale Bruderer Wyss, President of the Swiss Parliament will attend the ceremony at the monastery and she will call on His Holiness the Dalai Lama after the ceremony. She is a member of the Tibet Group in the Swiss Parliament and last met His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2005.

From 9 to 11 April 2010, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and leading figures from business, economics, psychology, contemplation, anthropology and neuroscience will take part in Mind and Life’s Altruism and Compassion in Economic Systems conference at the Zurich Kongresshaus. This conference is a public dialogue between Economics, Neuroscience and Contemplative Sciences exploring alternative approaches of “altruism and compassion” to the economic systems that rewards both individuals and our global societies.

The Mind and Life Conference is co-sponsored by the University of Zurich, the largest university in Switzerland. The University is known internationally for its groundbreaking research, particularly in molecular biology, brain research and anthropology.

The first Mind and Life meeting was in 1987. The institute was co-founded in 1987 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, neuroscientist Francisco J. Varela and American businessman Adam Engle. Its aim is to create a rigorous dialogue and research collaboration between modern science and the world’s living contemplative traditions, especially Buddhism. This is the Mind and Life’s first conference in Europe.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has always promoted the introduction of science education in Tibetan Buddhist monastic colleges and academic centres, and has encouraged Tibetan scholars to engage with science as a way of revitalizing the Tibetan philosophical tradition.

On 10 April morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address the opening session of the First European Tibetan Youth Parliament. Over 150 Tibetan delegates from 11 countries will take part in this Parliament. And in the evening His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address the Solidarity Rally for Tibet organized at the centre of Zurich by the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association.

Over 7,500 people will attend His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s public talk on Universal Responsibility and the Economy in the Zurich Hallenstadion on 11 April afternoon. Following the public talk, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Mr. Penpa Tsering and Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche will address the members of the Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Also Presidents and Vice-Presidents of Tibetan communities across Europe will be presented during this event.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will leave for India on 12 April morning.

 


 

Maribor (Slovenia), 7 April 2010

Photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 2nd day in Maribor, Slovenia

His Holiness with Slovenian Cabinet Minister Dr. Boštjan Žekš

European Academy of Sciences and Arts and Maribor University address

Gyuto Monks with His Holiness

Mufti dr. Nedžad Grabus, the head of the Slovenian Muslim community

Audience for the Tibetan community

His Holiness with hotel staff

His Holiness with members fo the Slovenia Security team.jpg

 


 

Maribor (Slovenia), 6 April 2010

Future is uncertain but we remain with hope said His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Maribor – 6 April: His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke to a packed hall of over 5,000 people for over two hours during the public talk – Ethic for the New Millennium in Maribor, Slovenia’s second largest city today. The tickets for the public talk were sold out within one week. Among the audience were people from neighbouring Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia.

His Holiness planting Tree of Peace

The audience had the opportunity to ask questions to His Holiness the Dalai Lama ranging from education, happiness, compassion, politics, culture and the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.

“What is the purpose of life?”, asked young women. “A happy life,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama without any hesitation. “Future is uncertain but we remain with hope. Once hope is lost, the very life is shortened. Hope means something good. The very purpose of life is happiness.”

His Holiness emphasized the importance of education of warm heart and said that real peace must come from within ourselves. Taking drugs, gambling and alcohol is lack of inner realization of our inner potential – inner value.

His Holiness said that he left Tibet and crossed into India in April 1959 not because of civil war or disaster, but a new guest came to Tibet without invitation and controlled everything in Tibet. “We are not seeking separation but are committed to remain within PRC,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In response to one of the questions, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “I don’t know the answer.” There was a big applause from the audience.

Following the public talk, His Holiness spoke to the members of the press. There were 168 accredited journalists with over 35 journalists from the neighbouring countries.

In the morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with the Mayor of Maribor Mr. Franc Kangler in his office. The Mayor presented His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Maribor City’s key.

Mayor of Maribor presents the Key to the City to His Holiness

After the meeting, His Holiness planted a Tree of Peace at the City Park. In his address to the people gathered at the City Park, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that violence, bloodshed and war is out of date. The 20th Century was the century of bloodshed and 21st century should be a century of dialogue. Then His Holiness addressed over 1,000 students of the Maribor 1st High School on human values.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with Mr. Janez Janša, former Prime Minister and president of the Slovenian Democratic Party before lunch. “We are very honoured by your visit”, said Mr. Janez Janša.

Hundreds of people and at least over 50 journalist including video and cameramen waited for His Holiness the Dalai Lama wherever he went during the day’s public program.

Report by The Tibet Bureau, Geneva

Photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit to Maribor, Slovenia

His Holiness signing the Golden Book of Maribor at the Mayor's office

His Holiness addresses over 1'000 students at the 1st High School of Maribor

His Holiness with Mr. Janez Janša, former Prime Minister and President of the Slovenian Democratic Party

His Holiness during Meet the Press

His Holiness greeting the audience at the public talk

Audience at the public talk

His Holiness during the public talk

 


 

Maribor (Slovenia), 5 April 2010

His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Slovenia today

His Holiness addresses members of the media at the airport of Ljubljana

His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived today in Slovenia from India. On His Holiness’ arrival at Ljubljana airport, a TV journalist asked His Holiness, “You are very popular in Slovenia and also in the Western World, how do you comment that?”

“I don’t care,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “My real concern is I [do] myself something useful to other people. That is all. We all have the same potential. Now let us live harmoniously and with mutual respect.”

From Ljubljana airport, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the entourage drove to Slovenia’s second city Maribor. The Mayor of Maribor, Mr. Franc Krangler and the Slovenian member of the European Parliament, Mr. Ivo Vajgl welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama. There were lots of well wishers outside the hotel. Some Tibetans have also come from the neighbouring countries.

Photos of 5 April 2010 (Slovenia)

His Holiness waves goodbye to the media at the Ljubljana airport

His Holiness greets well-wishers on arrival at the hotel in Maribor

His Holiness and the Mayor of Maribor, Mr. Franc Kangler, in the hotel

His Holiness greets a young well-wisher

 


  

Geneva, 5 April 2010

His Holiness the Dalai Lama to visit Slovenia from
5 to 7 April 2010

Maribor, Slovenia - 5 April: His Holiness the Dalai Lama will today arrive in Slovenia at the invitation of the Maribor City, Maribor University, the Prva gimnazija secondary school and two local organisations. Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia.

"We invited him (His Holiness the Dalai Lama) as a man who fights for peace and reconciliation," said Mayor of Maribor Mr. Franc Kangler.

A Peace Tree will be planted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the city park on the 6 April morning. Bishop dr. Stanko Lipovšek of Maribor of the Catholic Church and the Mufti dr. Nedžad Grabus, the head of the Slovenian Muslim community will be present.

Then His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address over one thousand students in front of the 1st High School in Maribor. And in the afternoon, His Holiness will speak on Ethics for the New Millennium at the Dvorana Tabor hall to over 5,000 people. The public talk tickets were completely sold out within one week.

At a special address organised by the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and Maribor University, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will speak to over 880 intellectuals, members of the parliament and invited guest on 7 April morning. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will speak on Compassion: The Art of Happiness at Slovenian National Theatre.

The organizers of the visit said that during this global crisis due to the demoralisation of individual economic players, the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and lectures on moral values are extremely important. A fortnight of Tibetan cultural programmes including concerts, lectures and workshops began on 26 March in Maribor. The monks from the Gyuto Monastery are making a Sand Mandala.

This is His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s second visit to Slovenia. The first visit took place in 2002. Slovenia became an independendent state in 1991 and was an autonomous republic within former Yugoslavia. In May 2004, it became member of the European Union.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will leave Slovenia on 7 April early afternoon for Zurich, Switzerland.

Contact details:
Mr. Tseten S Chhoekyapa
Slovenian Mobile: +386 31 562 762
Swiss Mobile: +41 79 533 93 10

 

 

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