The Dalai Lama recently confirmed plans to travel to Louisville next year, on a mission designed to spread blessings and compassion. He is making the trip here to bless a Tibetan Buddhist temple and teaching center, and to also reach out to the general public. He is scheduled to visit Louisville May 19-21, 2013.
The 14th Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhists. According to his website, “he frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments,” the first of which is “the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness.” Due to his emphasis on spreading basic human values, after the Dalai Lama blesses Louisville’s Tibetan Buddhist temple, he plans to also talk about how to spread compassion to not only Buddhists, but to the general public- especially the youth. He will also further religious knowledge by giving more in-depth religious training to Louisville’s Buddhists.
The Dalai Lama is a frequent guest of Bloomington, Indiana, where his brother founded a Buddhist center. He, however, is not a frequent guest to Louisville, or even to Kentucky. The last time he was in Kentucky was in 1996 for recognition after he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. The last time he was in Louisville was two years prior to that; the purpose of his 1994 trip was to visit the Cathedral of the Assumption.
In May, the Dalai Lama will be visiting the Drepung Gomang Institute (DGI) and the Tashi Gomang Dharma Center, located on Hubbards Lane. DGI began in 2000 with only one monk. Since then, it has expanded and currently has four monks who teach about Buddhism, meditation and Tibetan culture and language. As it states on DGI’s website, “DGI’s mission is to provide individuals with an interest in Tibetan philosophy and culture to experience it firsthand.”
The board president of DGI, Anne Walter, is the one who originally invited the Dalai Lama to speak and she must be ecstatic about his impending visit.
Photo: courtesy of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet