Dalai Lama Lecture Draws Thousands in Poland

December 11th 2008

Warsaw, Poland, 11 December 2008 (DPA) - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama drew thousands to a lecture in the capital on Thursday amid warnings from Beijing to respect China's interests.

The Dalai Lama's visit to Poland sparked protests from China when he earlier met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and prompted China to cancel two upcoming summits with the European Union.

In Warsaw, all tickets to the lecture were grabbed up within hours, with lines curving around a major sports hall before the event. The city's mayor welcomed the Dalai Lama to the 'city of freedom,' saying Poland itself traveled a difficult road to democracy.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski had also met with the spiritual leader, sparking a further reaction with China warning Warsaw of creating impediments to Chinese-Polish relations.

The Dalai Lama drew laughs at the lecture when he put on a visor for shade against the stage lights, or popped a candy into his mouth and hid the wrapper under his robe. Despite the difficult life he's had as a refugee, he said, he's kept inner-peace.

'At the age of 16, I lost my freedom. At the age of 24, I lost my own country,' he told the crowd. 'The news from our home, in most cases, is sad news. ... Therefore, a compassionate mind is very very useful to keep your mental peace.'

'With that inner peace,' he said, 'no matter how complicated the situation, you can maintain your peace of mind and you can handle the problem.'

China, which claims Tibet as part of its territory, generally frowns upon foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama, whom many Tibetans see as a symbol of national independence. The Dalai Lama, 73, fled Tibet after an abortive uprising against China in 1969 to set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in India.

The Dalai Lama was in Poland to attend celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of former Solidarity trade union leader Lech Walesa's receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

 

Latest News

Eight Verses of Training the Mind & Avalokiteshvara Empowerment
October 24th 2014
Vancouver, BC, Canada, 23 October 2014 - It was still dark as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove through driving rain, weather locals say is typical of Vancouver, to the UBC Thunderbird Arena, this morning. He was making an early start in order to perform preparatory rituals for an Avalokiteshvara empowerment. Walking onto the stage of the almost empty hall, His Holiness scrutinized the images of the Buddha, Avalokiteshvara and 21 Taras in thangkas hanging behind the throne.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Expresses Shock and Sadness at the Recent Tragedy in Canada
October 23rd 2014

The Art and Science of Education of the Heart
October 23rd 2014

Education of the Heart
October 22nd 2014

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Congratulates Malala Yousafzai & Kailash Satyarthi
October 11th 2014

Explore