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1december20092Sydney: His Holiness the Dalai Lama began a two-day teaching on "Awakening the Mind" in Sydney this morning. Nearly 5,000 people are attending the teaching.

The morning session began with a traditional indigenous welcome ceremony from the Cadigal people of the Eora aboriginal nation, the original inhabitants of the territory.

Flanked by Buddhists from Thailand, Vietnam, Tibet and many other countries, His Holiness expressed happiness to be giving another teaching in Australia. He is particularly keen to discuss Nagarjuna's Commentary on Bodhichitta, which he said he considers a "sacred, important and sophisticated text".

In his opening remarks, His Holiness spoke of the potential of all the world's great religions to cultivate inner peace, arguing that while differing in their philosophy, all religions carry the same message of tolerance and compassion. His Holiness emphasized that for a happy life and a peaceful community we must train our mind and look more closely at our inner world, explaining that all worry and frustration come through ignorance of the nature of ultimate reality.

During the lunch break His Holiness held a meeting with Australia's Tibetan Community. Around five hundred Tibetans were present, with many travelling from other parts of the country. Over one hundred members of the Mongolian community also joined the meeting. In a half hour address, His Holiness focussed on the importance of education, encouraging more of Australia's Tibetans to attend universities in order to learn skills and professions that will benefit and strengthen the community.

At the close of the afternoon session all those attending the teaching received a packet of seeds blessed by His Holiness. In recognition of the 20th anniversary of his Nobel Peace Prize, The seeds are of native Australian plants, selected in consultation with Greening Australia to help support resilient and sustainable native ecosystems in the local areas His Holiness will be visiting. His Holiness will be offering this gift to all he interacts with during his Australia visit.

His Holiness will meet with Australia's Chinese and Vietnamese communities tomorrow.

--Report filed by Dr. Simon Bradshaw, Campaign Coordinator, Australia Tibet Council

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