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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Holding for His Holiness

July 27, 2008

By Charles Agar, cagar@aspentimes.com
The Aspen Times (USA)
Aspen, CO Colorado
July 26, 2008

ASPEN -- Anticipation mounted as wind from an approaching storm
slapped the tent where hundreds waited to see the Dalai Lama at the
Aspen Institute on Friday.

His Holiness, however, was around the corner in a West End home on
Lake Avenue, glad-handing with U.S. Sen. John McCain (see related story).

The Dalai Lama addressed donors and participants Friday as part of
the three-day Tibetan seminar. He will speak to the public today at
the Benedict Music Tent at 11 a.m.

When he took the stage at the Greenwald Pavilion, the Dalai Lama
projected a wide smile, laughed and shaded his eyes from the light as
he waved to the audience (he later donned a visor).

"More comfortable," he said, smiling as he plopped cross-legged onto
an easy chair to discuss everything from Buddhism and science to
global politics, marriage, his exile and the U.S. election.

His Holiness speaks in fragmented English with periodic help from a translator.

Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson and Time journalist Pico Iyer
moderated. Isaacson launched right into science, asking the Dalai
Lama why he was so interested in neuroscience.

"That is a good beginning," His Holiness said, laughing.

Science and Buddhism go hand in hand, he said.

"There is no contradiction," the Dalai Lama said. "Reason is more
important than faith."

Buddhists are learning from scientists, and vice-versa, as
neurosurgeons get a stronger grasp on the relationship between
neurons and emotions, and doctors appreciate the importance of mental
health and inner peace.

"Inner tranquility is very important," the Dalai Lama said, and it is
something that cannot be bought or made by machines.

Calm and "inner beauty" make for good marriages, and carry humans
through inevitable hardships in life, he said.

The Dalai Lama said people can find that inner peace through worship
of a god, through a non-theistic approach such as Buddhism, or by
secular common sense and experience.

Even Hitler, the Dalai Lama said, was born of a mother and had a
compassionate nature.

"Everybody. We have the same potential. Great potential," he said.

And leaders, such as the next U.S. president, must be "real movers,"
with good policy, motivation, compassion, leadership and honesty.

Tibetans in exile have already elected a leader -- though the Chinese
still point to the Dalai Lama as a scapegoat for the troubled
relations between Beijing and the exiles, he said — and His Holiness
said that he would dissolve the institution of the Dalai Lama if the
people of Tibet wanted it.

He said he believes in a secular Tibet and remaining under Chinese
sovereignty, though with freedom for Tibetans to speak their language
and practice their religion and culture.

And leadership, he said, might be best left to women.

"Females by nature [are] more sensitive to others' pain," the Dalai
Lama said. "[The] time has come that the female should take a more
important role in society to promote warm-heartedness."

The audience broke into applause.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright was in the audience. She
raised her hand to ask a question, and the Dalai Lama pulled her on stage.

The old friends locked eyes and gently bumped foreheads as a sign of affection.

"What can we do to be more helpful to you?" Albright asked him.

He begged for a realistic solution to Tibet's troubles and requested
looking at any solution from all angles, adding that freeing the
Chinese media is vital.

"It is extremely important China should know what is going on," the
Dalai Lama said. "Heavy censorship in the Chinese media only makes
ignorant Chinese people."

The Dalai Lama called it immoral that a people's government should
put its own people in ignorance.

And it is the Chinese who are doing the pushing and taking of lives,
he said -- not the Tibetans.

Despite that, and despite recent violent protests in Tibet, His
Holiness said he supports the upcoming Summer Olympics in Beijing,
saying that the Chinese deserve to host the event as the world's most
populous nation.

The Dalai Lama said change in Tibet ultimately would come from a
popular peaceful movement.

And despite the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Dalai Lama
said he is optimistic that the worldwide desire for peace and
nonviolence is growing.

Aspen Institute officials awarded the Dalai Lama an "Aspen Global
Leadership Award," and His Holiness gave ceremonial silk scarves to
Albright and the moderators.

His talk today at the Benedict Music Tent can be heard live on Aspen
Public Radio at 11 a.m. and can be seen live on Aspen's GrassRoots TV
12 or on the Aspen Institute website.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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