Video: New Orleans readies for Dalai Lama’s visit

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

NEW ORLEANS — He is the son of farmers from a small mountain village in the northeast corner of Tibet, revered from childhood as the reincarnation of Chenrezig, the Buddhist god of compassion, and since 1959 the exiled keeper of all-but-extinguished hopes to loosen China’s hold on the Tibetan plateau.

To his followers, he is simply His Holiness. For heads of state such as Barack Obama, he is a recurring foreign policy conundrum, a choice between solidarity with the oppressed or diplomatic progress with a rising China. And to the Chinese Communist Party, he is a dangerous, rabble-rousing separatist.

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Dalai Lama brings message of peace to New Orleans

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Dalai Lama’s message of nonviolence comes to New Orleans at a critical time, while the city reels from shootings that sent 19 people to the hospital at a parade on Mother’s Day.

On Tuesday, as police searched for a 19-year-old suspect, a delegation of monks arrived as the vanguard for the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, who arrives later this week for a series of speeches and to deliver the commencement address at Tulane University.

The monks are creating an elaborate mandala — a circular symbolic design made of sand — to commemorate the visit. About a dozen monks with the Drepung Loseling Monastery — donning saffron and maroon ankle-length robes and velvet tall hats — chanted and blew into horns in a ceremony for for making the mandala.

The circular work of art will take three to five days to build. The monks will work in rotation for hours at a time placing colored sand using a chakpur, a metal funnel.

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The Dalai Lama to visit New Orleans

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Dalai Lama is visiting New Orleans less than a week after gunfire at a Mother's Day parade injured 19 people.An entourage of Tibetan monks Tuesday will create an elaborate sand mandala to commemorate the Dalai Lama's visit.

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his nonviolent struggle in protest of Chinese rule of Tibet. He is bringing his message of nonviolence to New Orleans, a city plagued by high murder rates.

Although his visit falls less than a week after the shooting, the trip has been more than a year in the planning.  He is making two public appearances: one Friday and another Saturday. He is also scheduled to speak at Tulane University's commencement on Saturday in the Superdome.

Tibetan monks create mandala to honor Dalai Lama’s visit

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The soul-penetrating chants of Tibetan monks reverberated through Hall G of the Ernest Morial Convention Center on Tuesday in preparation for the sand mandala being created in honor of the Dalai Lama’s first visit to New Orleans.

Open for public viewing, the sand mandala is an elaborate Buddhist art form painstakingly constructed over a period of days or weeks using colored sand and poured a few grains at a time.

On Friday, the mandala will be swept away and carried by ceremonial procession to the Mississippi River. The current will bring the blessings of peace and compassion imbued in each granule into the Gulf of Mexico and then into the world’s oceans, said Ronald Marks, dean of the Tulane University School of Social Work, the host of the Dalai Lama’s historic visit.

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Hello Dalai

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

After Sunday’s tragic mass mother’s day shooting in the 7th Ward, New Orleans could use a peaceful reminder.  This weekend, the city is in luck.  Taking a break from the mountains of Tibet, the high lama himself, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, takes a seat at the Convention Center to share ideas of compassion, equanimity and non-violence in his debut trip to the Crescent City.

“The Dalai Lama in New Orleans is historic,” said Dr. Ron Marks, Dean of the School of Social Work Tulane University.  “He will speak to the part that compassion and connection play in building the resilience of communities and individuals.  He will deliver his message of compassion and ethical behavior and non-violence and we are happy to receive him.”

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