Mayor Greg Fischer, who on Nov. 11, 2011, signed the Compassionate City’s Charter, a 10-year process to designate Louisville as a Compassionate City, said the Dalai Lama’s visit will be a shining moment for the city.
“I find that people want to talk about compassion, about helping others and unleashing the human potential,” Fischer said. “The Dalia Lama is such an iconic figure for good and compassion that his visit will be inspiring locally and further evidence globally of what Louisville and its people are capable of.
The first annual city-wide event to enact Mayor Fischer’s commitment to promote compassion was the inspired Give a Day program in April 2012, when more than 90,000 volunteers and acts of compassion were in action across the city in one week. Next year’s Give a Day week will take place April 13-21.
The host of the event, The Drepung Gomang Institute (DGI), located at 411 N. Hubbards Lane, Louisville, was established in 2001 and in 2008 was designated the official U.S. sister organization of the Drepung Gomang Monastery in Southern India, where currently more than 2,000 Tibetan monks live, work and study at its Monastic University. Many of these monks have escaped from Tibet because of the oppressive Chinese regime and now call India their adopted home.
One of those monks is Geshe Kalsang Rapgyal, a highly respected Tibetan scholar and the resident director of DGI. He is the visionary behind the Dalai Lama’s visit, and commented “DGI is here to do the service of teaching compassion. We want to give the greatest service we can to the people of Louisville by inviting the Master of Compassion. He has kindly agreed to come, and this is a great honor.”
For more information go to www.dalailamalouisville.org or visit the DGI Tibetan Buddhist Center at 411 N. Hubbards Lane, Louisville, 40207.