Entertainment & Events
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama visits the SDSU Campus
The sun was shining, with beautiful clear skies. A perfect day for the Dalai Lama to visit. The line for his visit started at the gates of the Arena at UC San Diego and ended past the Adams Humanities building two hours before his holiness even stepped on to the platform in the Vejas Arena. Tickets were sold out for his speech at SDSU as well to his UCSD and USD visit. Those who couldn’t buy tickets at the box office were forced to buy them from online hawkers at Ebay or Craiglist with prices ranging from $100 to $300.
His Holiness had been a busy man in San Diego. The day before, on Wednesday April 18th, the Dalai Lama lectured at UCSD and USD. At UCSD he devoted his morning to talk about the global climate change and the significance of embracing responsibility and humanitarian values. Later in the afternoon he went to USD to discuss the importance of spreading peace in a society that struggles with violence. Yesterday morning, at SDSU, the Dalai Lama gave eager students, of all ages, another lecture. In his lecture he provided insight on how to give forgiveness to others and the challenges that go with it. That compassion, combined with wisdom, is the most important thing to have in our life.
The event started at 9:30 am with an introduction by SDSU’s President, Dr. Elliot Hirshman. After the President welcomed his Holiness, the holy man was given a seat and was presented with an SDSU visor, which he gleefully put on his head. His affectionate smile and laughter spread like wildfire across the audience. Jerry Sanders, the Mayor of San Diego, presented the Dalai Lama with the ceremonious “Key to the City.” His Holiness stood up and accepted the gift and then presented the mayor with his own ceremony gift. He draped over the mayor a beautiful white shawl and then gave a similar gift to the President. Once the gifts were exchanged, Laurene Powell Jobs, the founder and Chair of the Emerson Collective gave the audience a formal introduction to the holy man and gave him the podium to speak.
The Dalai Lama, with his translator aid, then came up to the podium and gave his talk on the important topic of having compassion and universal ethics. He discussed the differences between having a mental level of experience and a physical level of experience. He stated, “Mental level of experience is more important than physical level of experience.” That the physical body only acts as a conduit and can never be able to control the mental level amount of pain, whereas the mental level has the ability to control the physical level of pain. In his discussion he showed how in a person’s life, material things can only bring them happiness on their physical level. The Dalai Lama discussed how the true road to happiness is through comfort and joy on the mental level. That is found through compassion and affection with those around you.
“Compassion in life is important part of life…Money no use. Fame, no love. Having education not important. Most important is to be surrounded by your friends…Survived by having others care,” his Holiness stated, “Doctors and nurses have feelings. Care about you. To them, ‘You life is our life. Your health is my health.’”
He discussed religious divisions and discrimination that are in society. Talking about his belief that people need to dig deeper to find the values of human life. To him, injustice and discrimination is wrong and leads to corruption. “That’s Your Disease. Your Cancer. Corruption,” the Dalai Lama stated. In order to find these values and not have discrimination and corruption, one needs to find the path to self-discipline and moral principle. In order to find that self-discipline, he explains that one needs to try and make the effort. Especially towards compassion and tolerance. He states, “Must make effort. Effort must come from the individual not others.” One can not find one’s effort through others, but by making their own effort, a person needs to have a strong sense of self. Towards the end of his speech he said how one person can make a huge difference. That it depended on one’s self-discipline.
Throughout his lecture, the Dalai Lama constantly praised children and their sense of values. He stated, “They don’t care about race, religion…They all play together. As they get older. Become more ‘sophisticated’ then they think if I make this friend what will I get…basic values at young age and fresh become dormant.” When children are young, they embrace compassion and forgiveness in life joyously and have tolerance. That people should take a child’s sense of self and ideals to heart.
After the Dalai Lama’s mesmerizing talk, he and his assistant then sat down for a question and answer session. The assistant would draw up questions from a variety of people that were sent. Whenever the holy man got stuck on a translation or a meaning of a word his assistant was ready to help. One of the questions that were brought up was about how to forgive those who do not want it and seem unable to repent. In his response he stated, “Forgiveness means don’t keep negative feelings towards others no matter their actions. They have to face negative actions by themselves.” With a smile and a laugh he also added, “Always say forgiveness means forgetfulness. Just forget.”
Another question asked was what he believed was the most important thing to accomplish in life. He replied, “For humanity to have a peaceful life. That should be our goal.”
The Dalai Lama gave a fantastic speech and provided beautiful insight on life. During the questions he was able to impart on his wisdom to help answer. His visit to SDSU will definitely be an event to remember.
Photos courtesy of Aria Fani and Jacqui Yawn