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12may20106Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama began his 12-day US tour today with a teaching in Bloomington, Indiana.

The Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel laureate will deliver a two-day teaching on The Heart Sutra (sherab nyingpo), organised by The Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Centre (TMBCC), at the Indiana University Auditorium; followed by a public talk in Indianapolis on Facing Challenges with Compassion & Wisdom, organised by the TMBCC, Interfaith Hunger Initiative and Indiana Buddhist Centre, at Conseco Fieldhouse on Friday.

The occasion marks the Tibetan leader's sixth visit to Bloomington, a major Tibetan Buddhism centre in the US, and his first since the death of his elder brother, founder in 1979 of the TMBCC and former professor at Indiana University, Thubten Norbu.

The Tibetan leader was received at the TMBCC in Bloomington on Tuesday to a fanfare of traditional Tibetan music and dancers, and hundreds of spectators.

In preparation for the arrival of the internationally respected Tibetan icon, Drepong monks spent eight days preparing an intricate sand mandala, and teams of volunteers built ponds, decorated prayer wheels and tended the surrounding 108-acre park.

12may20105The two-day teaching at Indiana University will be geared towards practicing Buddhists; however the following Indianapolis talk is aimed to reach a wider audience.

Larry Gerstein of the Indiana Buddhist Centre which is co-organising the Indianapolis talk said, "He will be talking about it to the average person in a way they can understand it. And more importantly, it is what you do with that and the contributions you make to your society."

His Holiness will give further talks in Madison, Wisconsin; Cedar Falls, Iowa; and New York. A full itinerary can be found at www.dalailama.com/teachings/schedule

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