Join our Mailing List

"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 Urges Unity

May 3, 2009

Tibet’s spiritual leader delivers message of 'love, compassion'
By EMMA R. CARRON and MELODY Y. HU, Staff Writers
The Harvard Crimson
May 1, 2009

One must not only "educate the mind, but also the
heart," the Dalai Lama said yesterday morning to
a rapt audience at Memorial Church in a speech entitled, “Educating the Heart.”

The Divinity School and the Graduate School of
Education co-hosted the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin
Gyatso, the spiritual leader of Tibet. After
traditional Tibetan dance performances and
introductory remarks by Divinity School Dean
William A. Graham and School of Education Dean
Kathleen McCartney, audience members stood in
anticipation as the Dalai Lama entered the hall and proceeded on stage.

The Dalai Lama lightened the mood when he began
by saying that "the first task is to remove the
shoe," and doing so with a chuckle. He sat
cross-legged on the wooden throne, which was
specially constructed for the event by local Tibetans.

He spoke casually and conversationally to the
audience, giving the speech an "intimate
feeling," in the words of Cristina Y. Remond, a
first-year student at the Divinity School.

Despite his light-hearted and easy-going
demeanor, the Dalai Lama’s message was a serious -- and uniting -- one.

"Mentally, emotionally, physically we are the
same," the Dalai Lama said. 'Therefore on that
level we can communicate easily.”

He emphasized infusing education with compassion.
"The brain alone will not bring joyfulness or
happiness," the Dalai Lama said, adding that “one
must practice love, compassion.”

Compassion is common to all religions, he said,
stressing interfaith understanding.

School of Education spokeswoman Amy Rollins said
that the Dalai Lama’s message exemplified the
school’s mission statement, “to generate
knowledge to improve the life of all learners.”

"He frames education as a life goal instead of
something that happens for 12 years in school," she said.

Audience members expressed enthusiasm for the Dalai Lama’s ideas.

Allyson R. Lent, a first-year student at the
Divinity School studying to be ordained in a
Unitarian Universalist church, said she wants to
spread the Dalai Lama’s message about compassion to her own communities.

Daniel M. Dion, a student in his final year
studying Catholic theology, said, "I care about
inter-religious dialogue, and it’s important to
have the possibility of dialogue, especially in my faith.”

The Dalai Lama wanted to hear from the students
and faculty, according to Rollins, and he took
questions from the audience after his speech.

When asked whether he has ever doubted his faith,
the Dalai Lama replied with a quick "No," eliciting laughter from the audience.

Following the talk, the Dalai Lama proceeded
outside for a tree-planting ceremony, where he
planted a special hybrid birch tree, created from
Eastern and Western birch tree strains by
Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum. University President
Drew G. Faust also presented him with a
commemorative picture to honor his visit.

"It’s interesting to see him in a Western
setting, and not his native setting," said Neethi
A. Venkateswaran, a Divinity School student in her final year of study.

"You can interact with the Dalai Lama in many
ways," said Remond. "You can go into it with
thoughts and expectations, or go in completely
open, listen with your heart, and allow yourself to be transformed.”

"Staff writer Emma R. Carron can be reached at ecarron@fas.harvard.edu.

"Staff writer Melody Y. Hu can be reached at melodyhu@fas.harvard.edu.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
Developed by plank