LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 16, 2012) — Louisville’s Tibetan Buddhist Center, the Drepung Gomang Institute, and the City of Louisville will host His Holiness the Dalai Lama next year, May 19-21. The three-day event, called “Engaging Compassion,” will begin on Sunday, May 19 at the YUM! Center when the Dalai Lama will present a public talk to an expected crowd of 16,000.
The Dalai Lama has been the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honor and is known around the world as a spokesman for the non-violent, peaceful and compassionate resolution of human conflict.
The Dalai Lama’s talk will focus on how individuals can engage with compassion from within his or her own religious tradition in order to build world peace from the local level to the world community. The two-hour presentation will include a strong interfaith component followed by interaction with local interfaith religious dignitaries and other leaders.
On Monday, May 20, the Dalai Lama will give a two-part public Buddhist teaching in the morning and afternoon. This event is expected to draw a large crowd of people wishing to explore and deepen their understanding of the Buddhist faith. The teaching is called “Attisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment.” Both events are open to all.
On Tuesday, May 21, His Holiness will address middle, high school, and college-aged students at the Kentucky Center. Educating young people on the path of non-violence and compassion is dear to the Dalai Lama’s heart. In addition to His Holiness’ speaking engagements, organizers are planning the three-day event to include a rich program of music, arts, cultural performances, dialogue and discussions that will touch the entire community of Louisville and raise awareness around the topic of compassion and kindness.
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 said, “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, visit www.dalailamalouisville.org or the DGI Tibetan Buddhist Center at 411 N. Hubbards Lane, Louisville, 40207.