HH the Dalai Lama to Visit Portland in May To Lead Three-Day Environmental Summit

Written by: Leigh Miller Sangster

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.
Photos by: Don Farber, Marc Sakamoto

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will teach in Portland May 9-11, as the focus of a three-day “environmental summit.”
The event is being sponsored by Maitripa College in Portland.

The visit will focus on the environment, and will include three days of teachings and conversations led by the Dalai Lama, and with distinguished leaders of the Pacific Northwest environmental, scientific, policy, and interfaith communities.

This will be the Dalai Lama’s first visit to Portland since 2001, when crowds filled the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Pioneer Courthouse Square.

The 2013 visit will start May 9 with an interfaith dialogue, “Spirituality and the Environment,” and a public talk entitled “Universal Responsibility & the Inner Environment: the Nature of Mind,” co-sponsored by Maitripa College and the University of Portland.

There the Dalai Lama will be joined by Rabbi Michael Cahana of Congregation Beth Israel, Imam Mohammad Najieb of the Muslim Community Center of Portland, Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim of the Siletz tribe, and a Catholic leader. The morning conversation will explore connections between spirituality and the environment.

In the afternoon the Dalai Lama will offer a philosophical and motivational teaching entitled “Universal Responsibility & the Inner Environment: the Nature of Mind.”

Both May 9 events will be at the Chiles Center at the University of Portland.

Jokhang Meditation Hall, at Maitripa College

A portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama resides on a throne in the Jokhang Meditation Hall, at Maitripa College.

On May 10 Maitripa College will host a symposium with the Dalai Lama exploring Tibetan Buddhist and psychological intersections, confer an honorary degree on His Holiness, and recognize Maitripa College students graduating this spring.

On the final day of the visit, May 11, the Dalai Lama and science broadcaster and environmental activist David Suzuki, of the David Suzuki Foundation, will convene the “Environmental Summit: Universal Responsibility and the Global Environment.”

They will be joined by Andrea Durbin, executive director of the Oregon Environmental Council, and other distinguished guests.

In the afternoon, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will offer concluding reflections in his address, “Inspiration for the Global Environment.”

Acknowledging the environmental issues we face can be overwhelming. His Holiness will offer a profound view of our interconnectedness, and reasons to believe that each of us, as ordinary individuals, can contribute to positive changes for the benefit of ourselves and our only home, the Earth.

Maitripa College President Yangsi Rinpoche, said,

“As we face the environmental issues before us, solutions will come through awareness and individual responsibility. The purpose of this event is not to focus on all that is wrong, but to inspire ourselves and future generations to act in a positive way for the environment. Individual responsibility arises from individual inspiration, formed and catalyzed by spirituality, philosophy, and policy. Therefore, this summit is designed as a platform for these three areas, all driving forces of action on this planet.”

Maitripa College is honored by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s acceptance of the invitation by President Yangsi Rinpoche to teach in Portland, and to be hosting the 2013 visit.

Tickets to the May 9 and May 11 events will be available by early March 2013. Dharma groups interested in advance purchase of a block of seats are invited to contact pr@dalailamaportland2013.net for more information. Please see www.dalailamaportland2013.net  for updated information about His Holiness the Dalai Lama and events in Portland, and to subscribe to the Maitripa College e-newsletter for announcements about the visit.

As the first Buddhist College in the Pacific Northwest, Maitripa is pioneering holistic graduate education integrating scholarship, meditation, and service in its Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies (MA) and Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree programs. Maitripa also offers training in classical Tibetan language and continuing education courses.

Public programming at the college includes traditional Tibetan Buddhist dharma teachings and practices, symposia on Buddhism and science, and various workshops. More information about Maitripa College is available at www.maitripa.org.

About the Author: Leigh Miller Sangster
Leigh Miller Sangster is the director of programs at Maitripa College and a doctoral candidate at Emory University. Her dissertation concerns modern Tibetan cultural sustainability and contemporary art in Lhasa.