Dalai Lama Will Make Second Appearance at the U this Fall

By Kylee Ehmann

The Dalai Lama, a spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists and an advocate for global peace, will speak this fall at the Huntsman Center.

(FILES) File photo taken on August 4, 2009 shows exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama during a press conference near Lausanne, Switzerland. The Dalai Lama is on a five-day visit to Switzerland. The Dalai Lama announced March 10, 2011 his plan to retire as political head of the exiled Tibetan movement, saying the time had come for his replacement by a “freely elected” leader. AFP PHOTO / FILES / Fabrice COFFRINI


His talk, scheduled for Oct. 18, marks his second visit to the U, with the first occurring in 2001.

Maeera Shreiber, director of the U’s Religious Studies program, said the Dalai Lama’s visit is important because his “commitment to cross cultural and interfaith dialogue is central to the kind of work that our students acquire deep knowledge of.”

Students can buy two tickets, for $10 dollars apiece, at www.global.utah.edu/dalailama or by calling 801.581.8849, starting July 13. Seats are $20 for faculty and staff and $35 dollars for the community (with a limit of six per purchase). There are about 7,000 spots available, according to Cheri Daily, director of development and external relations for the U’s Office of Global Engagement.

Attendees can submit questions for a Q&A session to follow the speech at the same website where tickets are available.

“We have already received some very thoughtful questions for his Holiness during the Q&A session regarding how young people can help mitigate the violence that is happening in the name of religion,” Daily said.

The Dalai Lama’s speech is an extension of his participation in the World’s Parliament of Religions, where he is delivering the keynote speech. The five-day event this fall will draw global religious leaders, activists and authors to Salt Lake City to discuss global issues, such as climate change, income inequality and war.

“The Dalai Lama is a wonderful spiritual leader and is bringing a thoughtfulness to humanity,” Daily said. “This is something that is important to all of us, but especially to students who are this upcoming generation of leaders.”

Shreiber said in addition to being a religious figure on par with the Pope, the Dalai Lama “continuously urges us to act with compassion in the name of long-lasting peace” even in the face of his more than 60-year exile from his home nation in Tibet.

Following a Tibetan uprising against the occupying Chinese army, the Dalai Lama moved to India, where he currently resides and works with refugees from Tibet. He advocates for the culture of his country, as well as human rights and inter-religious harmony. In 1989, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent advocacy work to free Tibet from China.

“I think this is a great opportunity,” Daily said. “It’s kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity visit from someone who has really been a tremendous influence on peaceful thought on humanity. We’re all really excited about it.”

No weapons of any kind are allowed at the Huntsman Center during the Dalai Lama’s visit, in compliance with federal security guidelines.

Proceeds from the event will both cover the expense of the Dalai Lama’s visit and go to the Utah Tibetan Association to help with for the Tibetan Community Center.

[email protected]