Dalai Lama talks about compassion at SDSU - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Dalai Lama talks about compassion at SDSU

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    Wednesday, April 18 2012 4:25 PM EDT2012-04-18 20:25:06 GMT
    The 14th Dalai Lama said in San Diego Wednesday that China's muted response to his U.S. visit was not an indication the sour relations that have forced him to live in exile were improving. 
    The 14th Dalai Lama said in San Diego Wednesday that China's muted response to his U.S. visit was not an indication the sour relations that have forced him to live in exile were improving. 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Not easily awed by celebrity status, Mayor Jerry Sanders said Thursday he was fascinated by this week's visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to San Diego.

"I would have to rank this right up at the top," said Sanders of his mayoral experiences.

Sanders greeted the Dalai Lama at Lindbergh Field on Tuesday and presented him with a key to the city during Thursday's appearance at San Diego State University.

"There's just a different aura about him," the mayor said.

Sanders noted that his constituents reacted similarly, in that they seemed more excited about the Dalai Lama than other visitors to a destination city that routinely draws U.S. presidents and entertainers and is the off-season home of numerous star athletes.

"I think the younger generation just finds it absolutely one of the most import things, and they just revere him," Sanders said. "I think that's probably a pretty good person to model yourself after."

He has a very good sense of humor and doesn't take himself too seriously, the mayor said.

"Everyone had all these (instructions), `don't do this, don't do that,' when he came up he immediately shook my hand even though they said don't approach him like that," Sanders said.

The mayor said he was "unbelievably impressed" with the message of compassion expressed at the SDSU talk.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. Read below for an earlier version.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Compassion is a necessary attribute for human survival, the 14th Dalai Lama told a crowd of about 12,000 people Thursday at San Diego State University as he wrapped up a two-day visit to the city.

"Compassion is a most important part of life," said the Dalai Lama, a spry 76-year-old named Tenzin Gyatso.

He is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism as well as a political leader, traveling the world advocating autonomy for his country, which is controlled by China. He lives in exile in India.

The 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner told a hushed audience at Viejas Arena that a sense of belonging and community brings with it a need for responsibility and concern for others.

"Now seven billion human beings -- actually human brothers, sisters -- mentally, emotionally, physically," he said. "We are same."

He said everyone has the same capacity for good and destruction.

Noting that he was speaking to a relatively young audience, he said, "You have opportunity to make happy world."

When he came onto the stage, he was given a key to the city by Mayor Jerry Sanders.

"Throughout his teachings, his holiness encourages all of us to strive for a better future, through peace and compassion for others," Sanders told the crowd. "With this key, we offer his holiness a promise to keep working for a brighter tomorrow."

Like he did in talks on Wednesday at UC San Diego and the University of San Diego, he donned a visor sporting the name of the host school. He discussed climate change at UCSD and later was awarded the USD Medal of Peace.

The crowd at the SDSU event was well over twice the size of Wednesday's events, however, and before the speech, long lines wound outside the arena of attendees waiting to go through security checkpoints. Those who got in early watched a Native American dance performance and other entertainment.

The Dalai Lama gave an interview of around 20 minutes at KPBS Radio, and was set to travel to Long Beach for his next appearance on Saturday.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. For an earlier version, read below.

 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The 14th Dalai Lama made the last of three local appearances Thursday during a lecture at San Diego State University about upholding ethics and compassion in challenging times.

The Dalai Lama, a spry 76-year-old named Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism as well as a political leader, traveling the world advocating autonomy for his country, which is controlled by China. Thursday's 9:30 a.m. event at Viejas Arena was sold out but was broadcast over the Internet.

At a news conference Wednesday, the Dalai Lama said China's muted response to his current U.S. tour -- such visits in the past have enraged Chinese leaders -- was not an indication that the sour relations forcing him to live in exile in India are improving.

The 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner delighted crowds at UC San Diego and the University of San Diego on Wednesday by donning visors with the name of each school. At UCSD, he discussed climate change with professors Veerabhadran Ramanathan and Richard Somerville before an attentive audience of 4,200 at RIMAC Arena.

"This blue small planet is only our home, no other planet so far," he said. "This is our planet, our home. We have to take care of it."

Around 4,700 people attended his talk at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion, where he was given the school's Medal of Peace by university President Mary Lyons.

"Genuine peace must come from inner peace, not out of fear, not out of superficial appearance," the Dalai Lama told the audience.

"Genuine inner peace" was the result of education, awareness and understanding of our inner-workings, he said.

SDSU officials warned about extremely heavy traffic for Thursday's appearance, which will draw a crowd more than double that of Wednesday's talks. Only students, faculty and staff with placards will be allowed to park on campus, so use of public transportation is encouraged, they said.

Extra trolleys will run along the Green Line from Qualcomm Stadium to the SDSU station, according to the Metropolitan Transit System. Beginning just before 7 a.m., trolleys will run every seven and a half minutes. The frequency will increase to every five minutes from 7:44 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

The university will also offer a free shuttle from the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot.

 

Dalai Lama San Diego Appearances:

University of California, San Diego
The Global Impact of Climate Change: Balance Through Universal Responsibility, Compassion and Human Consciousness
RIMAC Arena
9:30 a.m.

University of San Diego
Cultivating Peace and Justice
Jenny Craig Pavilion
1:30 p.m.

San Diego State University
Upholding Universal Ethics and Compassion in Challenging Times
Viejas Arena
9:30 a.m.

**All events are sold out.

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