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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

His Holiness Concludes US Visit With Message of Compassion and Peace

February 27, 2010

Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)
February 25 2010

His Holiness the Dalai Lama participated in two
public events on 24 February. In the morning, he
gave a public talk to over three thousand
Floridians at Florida Atlantic University. In the
afternoon His Holiness held a Q&A session with
Presidents of seven universities on higher
education in our global society. Over five hundred educators were present.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks to students,
faculty, and guests at Florida Atlantic
University in Boca Raton, Fla. , Wednesday, 24 February 2010/AP Photo

Florida: His Holiness the Dalai Lama departed the
hotel at 9 am for Florida Atlantic University for
a public talk entitled 'Compassion as a Pillar of
World Peace'.  Upon reaching FAU, His Holiness
held several private audiences for half an hour.

Then at 10 am, His Holiness moved to the stage to
begin his public talk to an audience of several
thousand Floridians. President John Pritchett of
Florida Atlantic University welcomed His Holiness
on the stage. President Pritchard said he was
honoured to have His Holiness speak on
compassion, a value that is much needed in these
troubled times. He said of His Holiness, “He
truly lives his beliefs.” His Holiness introduced
himself to the audience as a messenger of India.
He said that firstly, Buddhist values and Buddha
dharma come from India. Secondly, he said that
the concept of religious harmony, which His
Holiness teaches, is also an old Indian
principle; for thousands of years, India has been
practicing religious pluralism. His Holiness
added that religious harmony and non-violence
were both traditional Indian values. "I am proud
to consider myself a messenger of India," His Holiness stated.

His Holiness also expressed deep appreciation at
FAU’s Peace Week activities intended to promote
understanding, peace and non-violence. His
Holiness stated, “Different language, different
culture, different race- these are secondary.
Fundamentally, we are all human beings." His
Holiness pointed out that a genuine smile is a
"unique gift of a human being,” and that if human
beings are treated with affection, they will also
respond with affection. Because we were all born
from our mothers, who give us a strong sense of
intimacy and connection, His Holiness continued,
we all have the same potential for compassion.

His Holiness again differentiated between two
levels of compassion: the first level which is
compassion with a biological basis, biased
towards our friend and families, related to
attitude and therefore limited, and the second
level of compassion which is unbiased and
objective, related not to attitude but to
personhood. His Holiness taught that we should
learn to cultivate this second level of
compassion. He said that genuine peace must come
from love and compassion, and only with this
genuine inner peace is there possibility for lasting peace in the world.

Right after the public talk, His Holiness met
briefly with former US Congressman Benjamin
Gilman and his family and then returned to the hotel.

His Holiness’ program in the afternoon was held
at Broward College. Presidents from six different
colleges and universities in the area met with
His Holiness in a Q&A session entitled The
Responsibility of Higher Education in Today’s
Global Society. There were Presidents from Nova
Southeastern University, Seminole State College
of Florida, Tallahassee Community College,
Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida,
Lynn University and Florida Memorial University.

Chancellor Ray Ferrero of Nova Southeastern
University moderated event. The Presidents asked
His Holiness about his views on the
responsibility of educating the global community,
the value of individuals in a collective and the achievement of inner peace.

Chancellor Ferrero, in a question about His
Holiness’s view on technology, referred to His
Holiness’s Twitter account which had just
recently been set up. His Holiness answered,
“Overall technology really makes our life easier.
Immense value." However, he continued, whether
the technology is used constructively or
destructively totally depends on the motivation
of the individual. The technology itself has no
mind or motivation. His Holiness also remarked
that we can think of the human brain as a living
technology, and that too, whether it is used
constructively or not, depends on our motivation.

As far as change is concerned, His Holiness
emphasized that change must come first from one
individual, then from ten and then from
thousands. Therefore, the initiative always comes from one individual first.

His Holiness also urged the Presidents and
educators in the audience to consider that the
role of modern education is not simply to develop
the intellectual capabilities of the students but
also to develop the students’ moral ethics. His
Holiness suggested that their generation should
show the right path to coming generations.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama departed the United States this evening for India.
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