The Tibetan spiritual leader, in addition to discussing the value of kindness and compassion, spoke of his admiration for the United States. "I think basically America is a champion of freedom, democracy, liberty," he said before a series of lectures at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "Occasionally the administration neglects these principles, but overall, I think these principles are very much alive in this country."
"Certain principles, such as human rights, democracy, rule of law, freedom and openness, these things are principle matters. If you (believe) money is more important than these principles, then that is morally wrong. We must stand firm on these principle matters."
In the morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a lecture on the Nature of the Mind, and in the afternoon lecture he spoke on the Ethics of Our Time.
Over 5000 people attended each lecture. Tickets sold out within two hours of going on sale. Fighting a cold and speaking through a congested voice, His Holiness addressed the audiences in English and, utilizing a translator, in Tibetan.
In addition to the students, professors, and community members in attendance, Tibetan monks, who are spending one year touring the United States, filled the front three rows, as is tradition at His Holiness' public teachings. The Tibetan monks created a traditional Tibetan sand mandala to commemorate His Holiness's visit at the university's art center.
UC Santa Barbara Professor Jose Cabezon, the XIV Dalai Lama Chair in Tibetan Studies and former translator for His Holiness, invited him to visit the university, which boasts a leading program of Buddhist and Tibetan studies instated after the His Holiness the Dalai Lama's first visit in 1984. This was his fourth visit.
It still is unclear whether His Holiness will meet with President Obama this fall when he visits Washington D.C.
By: Melissa Queen, US reporter for The Tibet Post International and edited by YC. Dhardhowa