Dalai Lama Talks Peace In Calgary

September 30th 2009

Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 30 September 2009 (CBC News) - The Dalai Lama has returned to Calgary for the first time in nearly 30 years, accepting an honorary degree from the city's largest university and a white cowboy hat from the mayor.

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader also brought his message of peace to a crowd at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Wednesday afternoon, giving a public address as part of a two-day visit to the city for a University of Calgary conference called NOW.

He spoke to the audience of peace not only on a global, national and family level, but on a personal one.

"We can say violence is generally speaking out of anger, hatred. Peace is out of compassion. So therefore, genuine peace [comes] through compassion. In other words, external, long-lasting genuine peace mostly comes through internal peace."

University of Calgary president Harvey Weingarten laughs as Mayor Dave Bronconnier gives the Dalai Lama one of the city

University of Calgary president Harvey Weingarten laughs as Mayor Dave Bronconnier gives the Dalai Lama
one of the city's iconic white cowboy hats. (Zulekha Nathoo/CBC)

He also joked with the audience that he has no healing power, as demonstrated by his need to have gall bladder surgery last year, but later spoke of his quick recovery.

"Not because of my healing power, but because of my peace of mind," he said.

University of Calgary president Harvey Weingarten presented an honorary law degree to the Dalai Lama during the Saddledome event.

"He has touched the hearts and minds of leaders in politics, religion and business, as well as those of everyday people who search only to find happiness," said Weingarten.

The Dalai Lama thanked the university and with a giggle admitted he had been a "lazy student."

Welcomed with a cowboy hat

Earlier in the day, Mayor Dave Bronconnier plopped the city's iconic white cowboy hat on the Dalai Lama's head during a welcoming at the airport.

The Dalai Lama was last in Calgary in 1980, when the city fathers declined to present him with a white hat, saying he wasn't an official dignitary. Calgary's Tibetan community was further annoyed when former mayor Al Duerr presented then-president Jiang Zemin of China with a white hat in 1997.

"Presentation of gifts on behalf of the citizens of Calgary are not intended to be political symbols at all. This is a welcoming gesture ... recognizing an international spiritual leader, one who advances education, philanthropy and works towards world peace," Bronconnier said Tuesday.

The mayor also presented a white hat later Wednesday to a former president of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk, who is also in Calgary for the conference.

 

Latest News

Meeting with the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet
October 25th 2014
Vancouver, BC, Canada, 24 October 2014 - Before leaving Vancouver at the end of his four day visit to Canada, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with 10 Canadian MPs from the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet. Among them were Jason Kenney, Minister for Employment & Social Development and Multiculturalism, Kerry-Lynn Findlay, Minister for National Revenue and the new Chair of the PFT, Bernard Trottier.

Eight Verses of Training the Mind & Avalokiteshvara Empowerment
October 24th 2014

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

Explore