Dalai Lama visit an Inspiration

I had the opportunity over the weekend to attend a private audience with his Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama.
As a member of the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, I was one of only four MPs and two senators to meet in a one-hour session to discuss issues of common interest.
The Dalai Lama wants only cultural autonomy for Tibet and has valid concerns about huge numbers of Chinese swamping Tibetan heritage.
A new railroad and airport have brought hundreds of thousands of new Chinese settlers to Tibet to exploit the huge mineral wealth of the former country which is now part of China.
He encouraged Canadian parliamentarians to persuade China to engage in meaningful dialogue on Tibet.
Meeting someone of such major spiritual stature is a most uplifting and inspiring experience. The Dalai Lama is a radiant personality, full of compassion and innocent humour.
We had a few moments to chat one-on-one, which was very thoughtful of him.
I’ve always had an interest in things Tibetan—primarily from a martial arts and human spirit perspective. The need to free Tibet is a reasonable cultural goal and I will continue to work with the parliamentary group to achieve that some day.
Following our private discussions, the Dalai Lama addressed a sold-out audience of 25,000 in Vancouver’s massive GM Place and stressed the need for China to adopt the principles of democracy: respect for minorities, free speech, open elections, and self-determination.
After his speech, the Dalai Lama was made an honourary Canadian citizen. This is only the third time in Canadian history that we have named someone with the honour, which brought the entire crowd to its feet in emotional acceptance.
In addition, Canada has been chosen as the world site for the “Centre For Peace and Education,” the mandate of which will be to foster and support education of the heart and teachings on kindness, compassion, and interconnectedness.
In the words of the Dalai Lama, “The key concepts that define the goals of the centre are: the promotion of human values; and the promotion of a sense of oneness within humanity.
“These two ideas serve to promote peace among different communities within one nation, within one world.”
During his visit to Canada, the Dalai Lama has been meeting with leading thinkers on education, science, and the creation of harmony amongst diverse communities.
It was a great and inspiring learning experience for me—definitely a highlight of the summer!

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