Emory Report
October 15, 2007
Volume 60, Number 7

The visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is an opportunity for Emory and the Atlanta community to celebrate this remarkable meeting of hearts and minds through art, music, dance, rituals and scholarly and religious dialogues.

Following is a brief summary of some of the events surrounding his visit. All of the events require tickets, unless otherwise specified.

For more details, visit www.dalailama.emory.edu.

Friday, Oct. 19 at 4:30 p.m. in Cannon Chapel — Members of the Jewish community who met with the Dalai Lama in 1990, as chronicled in the bestselling book “The Jew in the Lotus,” will reunite to reflect on their experiences in a moderated dialogue. Two Shabbat services — one traditional and another meditation-style — will follow the talk.

Saturday, Oct. 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at WoodPEC – The conference “Mind and Life XV: Mindfulness, Compassion and the Treatment of Depression” will feature scientists and scholars making presentations to the Dalai Lama and engaging in a moderated discussion.

Sunday, Oct. 21 at 9:30 a.m. at WoodPEC – His Holiness the Dalai Lama will deliver a special teaching titled “Introduction to Buddhism.”

Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. at WoodPEC – The first “Emory Summit on Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding” will feature the Dalai Lama in conversation with religious leaders from Hindu, Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities.

Monday, Oct. 22 at 9:30 a.m. at WoodPEC – His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be installed as Presidential Distinguished Professor at Emory in a vibrant ceremony, followed by his inaugural lecture, “Reality as Interdependence.”

Monday, Oct. 22, from 3 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. in Centennial Olympic Park – His Holiness will give a talk titled “Educating the Heart and Mind: A Path to Universal Responsibility.” No tickets are required for this free public event, to include musical entertainment and other activities.

Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Carlos Museum –
A Tibetan music concert will feature the singer Techung, winner of numerous world music awards.

Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Glenn Auditorium – “The Mystical Arts of Tibet: Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing” will feature monks in traditional costumes performing ancient temple music.

Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m. at WoodPEC – The Drepung Loseling monks will perform a traditional ceremony to dismantle the “Mandala Live Exhibit” and release it into a nearby body of water.

The “Mandala Live Exhibit” features a traditional Tibetan sand painting which remains on display for free public viewing, no tickets required, from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. in Woodruff Physical Education Center, through Tuesday, Oct. 23.

“The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama” is a free, non-ticketed exhibit of works by artists from around the world at Emory’s Visual Arts Gallery, through Saturday, Oct. 27.

“Buddha in Paradise: A Celebration in Himalayan Art,” gathers 16 ancient Tibetan thangka paintings at the Carlos Museum, through Sunday, Nov. 25.

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October 15, 2007
Preparations under way for historic Dalai Lama visit


Call it Dalai Lama fever.

In recent weeks, some people have reported glimpsing His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama walking around campus. Actually, they have seen Tibetan monks who are preparing for his Oct. 20–22 visit. The upcoming installation of the Dalai Lama as Emory Presidential Distinguished Professor, and the myriad events surrounding it, have created a surge of anticipation at the University and in the Atlanta community.

For Emory, it is the culmination of a long-standing interest that became official in 1998, when the Emory-Tibet Partnership formed to bring together the best of Western and Tibetan-Buddhist intellectual traditions.

For Bobby Paul, dean of Emory College, the story goes back more than four decades, when he set off as a graduate student to research Tibetan culture in the northern Himalayas of Nepal, near the Tibetan border. It was 1966, and most Americans had only vague knowledge of Nepal and Tibet. “People asked me, ‘Where’s that?’” Paul recalled.

“When I came back more than a year later,” he added, “people said, ‘Wow, Katmandu! Dynamite hash! Who was your guru? What was your mantra?’ I realized that I had missed 1967, which turns out to have been the pivotal year in the transformation of American culture.”

Paul went through a transformation of his own during his immersion in the language, religion and philosophy of Tibetan culture that had survived in remote villages of the Himalayas. “I realized that this really was a tradition from which the West has much to learn,” he said. “And, at the same time, I was aware that the culture was in danger of dying out within a few generations.”

Over several centuries, Tibet developed a way of life that was largely based on the search for enlightenment and compassion for other beings. “One can imagine much worse uses for the taxes and riches of a nation,” Paul said. “There is something special about Tibet, just because of its historical circumstances, that made it a rare example of a place in which the entire community was, in a way, devoted to higher spiritual value. The results of that need to be valued and understood.”

Paul was a key nurturer of Emory’s growth into one of the leading centers for study of Tibetan religion and philosophy in the West. The exchange of knowledge between Emory scholars and those from the Tibetan culture is leading to new realms of research and discovery.

“Bringing different traditions together in a living dialogue is one of the best things that a university can do,” Paul said. “People are changed by that, both sides are changed. And we’re in a world that needs some change.”