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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Dalai Lama to visit Madison this summer

January 26, 2008

By: Abby Sears
The Daily Cardinal
January 24, 2008

The Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Madison from July 19 through July
24. A Thebetian "long life" ceremony will be performed for the first
time in North America.

The Dalai Lama, head of state and spiritual leader of Tibet, will visit
Madison July 19 through July 24 to hold teaching sessions and partake in
a spiritual ritual performed for the first time in North America.

The Dalai Lama will give a public speech on July 19 at the Alliant
Energy Center Coliseum to kick off his six-day visit. He will spend the
following days at the Coliseum holding teaching sessions and cultural

The Dalai Lama’s visit will conclude with the “Tenshug,” or “long life”
ceremony at the end of the final teaching session on July 23.

The Tenshug ceremony is a Tibetan ceremony in which followers of the
Dalai Lama pray for his long life, according to Wisconsin Tibetan
Association vice president Jampa Khedup. He said that although the
ritual is performed frequently in other countries around the world, the
upcoming event in Madison would be the first Tenshug ceremony held in
North America.

“All the Tibetans who are in Canada and in this country will come and
request long life,” said Geshe Sopa, leader of the Deer Park Buddhist
Center in Oregon, Wis.

Deer Park Buddhist will co-sponsor the Dalai Lama’s visit, along with
the North American Tibetan Association. Sopa said participation in
events is open to everyone, regardless of spiritual beliefs.

“In this case it is more than just spiritual because he is both a
political and spiritual leader,” Khedup said. “Everybody’s coming
together to pay gratitude to the Dalai Lama and show their respect and
faith in him.”

In traditional Tibetan culture, followers must first ask their spiritual
leader to allow them to perform the Tenshug ritual, according to Khedup.
The followers then pray for the long life of their master and ask him to
continue to teach them and act as their guide through life.

According to the Dalai Lama’s website, the spiritual leader works within
three separate levels: the level of the human being promoting human
values such as compassion and discipline, the level of religious
practitioner and as a free spokesperson of the Tibetans.

Tickets to the July 19 public talk cost $25 and are available for
purchase at the Alliant Energy Center box office and through
Ticketmaster. Tickets for the teaching sessions July 20-23 go on sale
Feb. 1 and prices for ticket packages range between $155 and $205.
Discounted rates are available for senior citizens and children.

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