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His Holiness the Dalai Lama to visit Miami

02/01/2010

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Gold Medal for championing the people of Tibet, will visit Miami University Oct. 21. He will meet with students as well as give a public address, which is tentatively scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21.

Miami established a relationship with the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, India, during summer workshops in Tibet led by two faculty in anthropology from 2004-2008. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a patron of this institute, one of the premier institutions for study of Buddhist thought and philosophy.

After university faculty, including Provost Jeffrey Herbst, visited Dharamsala and signed an affiliation agreement, Miami began offering a Tibetan studies semester program last fall. It will be offered annually in the fall.

The Venerable Geshe Kalsang Damdul, from the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, visited Miami and held a prayer flag ceremony here last February to commemorate the affiliation agreement.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual leader of Tibet, in 1989 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence and also was the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.

Miami’s summer workshop, Peoples and Culture of Tibet, has been conducted by Deborah Akers and Homayun Sidky in Dharamsala, the residence of the Dalai Lama in northern India, which is the location of the Tibetan government in exile.

In the new Tibetan studies semester program for Miami students in Dharamsala, Miami students can study at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (IBD) and the College for Higher Tibetan Studies (CHTS). Students are offered courses focusing on Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan medicine and meditation and an intensive sequence of language courses in Chinese, Tibetan and Hindi.

Since 1959 the Dalai Lama has received more than 84 awards, honorary doctorates and prizes in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. He has authored more than 72 books.

As part of their senior capstone projects, students at Miami University in the Armstrong Interactive Media Studies program are working with members of the Tibetan government to create a digital archive for historical documents and to develop an online language, teaching program in efforts to help the exiled government preserve its culture and heritage.

More details on his visit will be announced next fall.

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