His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the age of two the child, who was named Lhamo Dhondup at that time was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a man of peace. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.

His Holiness has traveled to more than 62 countries spanning 6 continents. He has met with presidents, prime ministers and crowned rulers of major nations. He has held dialogues with the heads of different religions and many well-known scientists.

Since 1959 His Holiness has received over 84 awards, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc., in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. His Holiness has also authored more than 72 books.

His Holiness describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk.

(Source: Office of Tibet, http://www.dalailama.com/biography/a-brief-biography)

Learn more about His Holiness and Tibet at:

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Dr. Richard Davidson

Richard J. Davidson is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior and the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Founder and Chair and the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984. He has published more than 290 articles, many chapters and reviews and edited 14 books. He has been a member of the Mind and Life Institute’s Board of Directors since 1991. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of "The Emotional Life of Your Brain" published by Penguin in 2012.

He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research including a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Award, a MERIT Award from NIMH, an Established Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD), a Distinguished Investigator Award from NARSAD, the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society, and the Hilldale Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was the Founding Co-Editor of the new American Psychological Association journal EMOTION and is Past-President of the Society for Research in Psychopathology and of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. He was the year 2000 recipient of the most distinguished award for science given by the American Psychological Association –the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award.

In 2003 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2004 he was elected to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2006. In 2006 he was also awarded the first Mani Bhaumik Award by UCLA for advancing the understanding of the brain and conscious mind in healing. Madison Magazine named him Person of the Year in 2007. In 2008, he founded the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, a research center dedicated to the study of positive qualities, such as kindness and compassion. In 2011, he was given the Paul D. MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig from 2011-2017 and as Chair of the Psychology section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 2011-2013.

His research is broadly focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing including meditation and related contemplative practices. His studies have included persons of all ages from birth though old age and have also included individuals with disorders of emotion such as mood and anxiety disorders and autism, as well as expert meditation practitioners with tens of thousands of hours of experience. His research uses a wide range of methods including different varieties of MRI, positron emission tomography, electroencephalography and modern genetic and epigenetic methods.

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Margaret Wheatley

Margaret Wheatley is a well-respected writer, speaker, and teacher for how we can accomplish our work, sustain our relationships, and willingly step forward to serve in this troubling time. She has written several best-selling books, beginning with her path-breaking Leadership and the New Science, first published in 1992. Her other books are: Walk Out Walk On (with Deborah Frieze); Perseverance; Turning to One Another; A Simpler Way (with Myron Rogers); Finding Our Way.

Each of her books has been translated into a number of languages; Leadership and the New Science appears in 18 languages. Her newest book, (October 2012), is So Far from Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World. She is co-founder and President emerita of The Berkana Institute. Berkana has been a leader in discovering new organizational forms based on a coherent theory of how living systems change. Berkana has responded to the global crisis by moving courageously into the future now, experimenting with many different solutions to create healthy and resilient community. www.berkana.org Margaret’s articles appear in both professional and popular journals and may be downloaded free from her website: www.margaretwheatley.com. Wheatley received her doctorate in Organizational Behavior and Change from Harvard University, and a Masters in Media Ecology from New York University. She’s been an organizational consultant since 1973, a global citizen since her youth, a professor in two graduate business programs, a prolific writer, and a happy mother and grandmother. She has received numerous awards and honorary doctorates.

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Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Mitchell J. Landrieu was sworn in as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans on May 3, 2010 with a clear mandate to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for the people of New Orleans. Two years into his administration, Landrieu has delivered major victories that lay the groundwork for transformational change in critical sectors.

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Drepung Loseling Monks

For more on the Monks activities in New Orleans, click here.

Drepung Monastery was established near Lhasa, Tibet in 1416 by Chojey Tashi Palden. It had four departments, of which Loseling, or "The Hermitage of the Radiant Mind," was the largest, housing more than three quarters of Drepung's ten to fifteen thousand monks. Drepung Loseling was especially close to the Dalai Lama incarnations; the Second Dalai Lama made his residence here in 1494, and subsequent incarnations maintained this link.

After the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet in 1959 and the forced closure and destruction of its 6,500 monasteries, some 250 monks from Loseling managed to escape the holocaust and rebuild their institution in Karnataka State, South India. The traditional training program was thus preserved. Over the years many more young spiritual aspirants have fled Chinese-occupied Tibet and sought entrance into the monastery, thus helping to preserve their traditional culture. The number of monks presently in the re-established Drepung Loseling has increased to more than 2,500.

In 1991, as a result of The Mystical Arts of Tibet tours, the monks were invited to establish a seat in North America. Thus Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. A non-profit organization dedicated to the study and preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of wisdom and compassion and a center for the cultivation of both heart and intellect, Drepung Loseling provides a sanctuary for nurturing inner peace, community understanding, and global healing. In 1998 Drepung Loseling and its North American seat established academic affiliation with Emory University with the objective of promoting transcultural understanding and scholarly interchange. This historic affiliation between two major institutions of learning was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on May 12, 1998.

In addition to its academic and spiritual programs, Drepung Loseling is committed to helping preserve the endangered Tibetan culture, which today leads a fragile existence in the exiled refugee communities in India and Nepal. In conjunction with Richard Gere Productions, it coordinates The Mystical Arts of Tibet World Tours and oversees the Drepung Loseling Educational Fund, a sponsorship program for the adoption of monks in training at Drepung Loseling Monastery. For information, visit www.drepung.org. (Source: Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc., www.drepung.org.)

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