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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Dalai Lama holds 'office hours' with Emory University students, faculty as part of US visit

October 25, 2010

Dorie Turner
Canadian Press  (CP)
October 19, 2010

ATLANTA -- The Dalai Lama began his "office
hours" with Emory University students and faculty
Tuesday with his signature move: laughter.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader walked on
stage, laughed as he saw the full gymnasium and
then bowed to the crowd. The 4,000 students,
faculty and staff members responded with more laughter and bows.

"Many students. Good," he said, settling himself on his low, wide yellow chair.

The Dalai Lama is at Emory as part of a
presidential distinguished professorship at the
private Atlanta university. He has been on campus
since Sunday holding events with researchers,
students and spiritual leaders, talking about
everything from science classes to meditation.

"One duty a professor has is to open his office
doors and when people come in with questions, he
does his best to answer those questions," Emory
President Jim Wagner told the crowd.

Through video recordings, students and faculty
asked about enlightenment, world affairs, the
Dalai Lama's greatest influence and his biggest
fears. They asked about how to deal with stress and obstacles.

One group of students asked the Dalai Lama to
become an "immortal spirit" at Emory after his death.

The Dalai Lama didn't answer all the questions,
but he talked about keeping a calm mind, reaching
out to others and learning how to be centred.

The aging leader -- wearing gold and burgundy
robes and a dark red visor that Wagner called his
"thinking cap" — told students to work on keeping
their minds calm no matter what life throws at
them and to recognize the connection between all
humans. He said that there is no such thing as
"one truth" when it comes to a community.

"My generation ... we need to say 'bye bye' so
you transform the 21st century," he told the
students. "The people who create the new shape of
this century is you. You must protect, not only
taking care of yourself but you must have
responsibility to take care of this planet."

The Dalai Lama was scheduled to be part of a
panel discussion of spirituality and creativity
later Tuesday with actor Richard Gere and author Alice Walker.

He last visited campus in 2007 for a weekend-long
symposium and a public talk in downtown Atlanta.
Emory is the only university appointment accepted
by the 1989 Nobel Peace Laureate.

Faculty and students from Emory travel each year
to the Dalai Lama's home of Dharamsala, India, to
work with monks and nuns. And a group of monks
from Dharamsala are studying at Emory this
semester, taking undergraduate science courses so
they can become teachers back in India.

The Dalai Lama fled the Himalayan region for
India in 1959 amid a failed uprising against
Chinese rule. He remains highly popular among
Tibetans and is lauded in much of the world as a
figure of moral authority, but China reviles him as a Tibetan separatist.

China claims Tibet has been its territory for
centuries, but many Tibetans say they were
effectively independent for most of that period.
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