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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Special ceremony planned for Dalai Lama in Madison

January 25, 2008

Pat Schneider
The Capital Times, WI
1/23/2008

A "long life" ceremony, never before performed in North America, will be
offered for the Dalai Lama when the Tibetan spiritual leader visits
Madison in July.

"This is a very, very big deal," said Lobsang Tenzin of Madison,
president of the Wisconsin Tibetan Association, who estimated the
ceremony will draw 7,000 to 8,000 participants. "This is the first time
it is being held in a western country."

During the ceremony, called "tenshug" in Tibetan, all those present will
pray for the long life of the Dalai Lama, Tenzin said. "Everyone can
participate, believer and non-believer, every human being who loves peace."

The Dalai Lama will visit Madison July 19-24. A public talk is scheduled
for 3 p.m. July 19 at the Coliseum of the Alliant Energy Center.
Tickets, $25, are on sale now. Tickets for teaching sessions on July
20-23, also at the Coliseum, are $155 and $205 for a package, $105 for
seniors and youths under 16; on sale Feb. 1. The tenshug will be offered
at the close of the final teaching, now scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
July 23.

Tenzin said that this year's visit will be the Dalai Lama's seventh
visit to Madison. He has ties to the Deer Park Buddhist Center in Oregon
and has worked with University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Richard
Davidson on the effects of meditation.

The Dalai Lama, born in 1935 in Tibet to a peasant family, was
recognized at age 2, as the 14th in a line of reincarnations of the
Buddha of Compassion, in accordance with Tibetan tradition. Forced to
flee Tibet by invading Chinese in 1959, the Dalai Lama is the temporal
ruler of Tibet from Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan
government-in-exile.

The Dalai Lama travels the world as an envoy of peace, but his last
appearance in Madison in 2007 caused a flap with the Chinese government
when its embassy in Chicago asked Mayor Dave Cieslewicz not to allow the
Tibetan flag to fly at City Hall. The flag was raised, as planned, as a
welcome to the Dalai Lama.

The tenshug ceremony will draw an international group of participants,
said Penny Paster, a spokesperson for Deer Park. "It is going to be so
auspicious," she said.

The Dalai Lama's visit is co-sponsored by the North American Tibetan
Association and Deer Park.

While in Dane County, the Dalai Lama also will give the third in a
series of blessings dedicating a new $6.1 million temple at Deer Park.

Tenzin said that cultural presentations also will be offered every
evening at the Alliant Center during the Dalai Lama's visit. Estimated
at 500 today, the local Tibetan community was established after Congress
in 1990 voted to allow resettlement of 1,000 Tibetans to the United
States. American friends and Tibetans coordinated the effort to bring 82
immigrants under the direction of Geshe Sopa, a professor emeritus at
UW-Madison and abbot of Deer Park.
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