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Dalai Lama to make historic visit to Lehigh in 2008



His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will come to Lehigh University in July 2008 for an historic series of teachings sponsored by the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in Washington, N.J., in collaboration with the university.

The spiritual leader of Tibet, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, will teach for six days at Stabler Arena on Tsong-kha-pa’s Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment:The Lamrim Chenmo. It represents the most extensive teaching on the classic Tibetan Buddhist text that the Dalai Lama has presented in North America.

The recent translation of the spiritual masterpiece was overseen by Joshua W.C. Cutler, who, with his wife, Diana Cutler, directs the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center of New Jersey. The couple was instrumental in bringing the Dalai Lama to Lehigh. Joshua Cutler served as Editor-in-Chief of the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee, which brought together more than a dozen scholars from around the world to translate the Great Treatise.

The five-and-a-half days of teaching will take place from July 10-15, 2008. There will be a session each morning and a session each afternoon except for Sunday, July 13, when the Dalai Lama will give a public talk that afternoon at Stabler on “Generating a Good Heart.” He also will answer questions submitted in writing by the audience during his 90-minute public appearance.

Tickets for all sessions will go on sale this fall.

“The Dalai Lama is revered around the world as an inspirational spiritual leader, enlightened teacher and courageous advocate for human rights, mutual understanding, peace and social justice,” Lehigh President Alice P. Gast says. “As a community of scholars, Lehigh University is honored to host this extraordinary six-day event in which His Holiness will share his profound insights into one of the literary classics of Tibetan Buddhism. His visit and public talk also open a world of exciting learning possibilities for Lehigh’s faculty, staff and students.”

A wide range of academic initiatives are being planned leading up to and celebrating the Dalai Lama’s visit. More information will follow in the fall. One example is the LU Reading Program, which each summer chooses a book that every incoming student is required to read to help them prepare for the academic rigor at the university level. This year, students will read Freedom in Exile, the Dalai Lama’s autobiography. There will be a series of discussions about the book among students, faculty and staff as the new academic year kicks off in the fall.

The Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center of New Jersey, which was founded in 1958 by Kalmyk-Mongolian teacher, Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, has maintained a tradition of inviting the Dalai Lama to teach Buddhism before large public audiences. In 1979, Geshe Ngawang Wangyal sponsored the Dalai Lama’s first religious teaching in the United States, initiating the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center of New Jersey tradition. The center has hosted the Dalai Lama on six additional occasions.

For more information, visit www.dalailamajuly2008.com.

--Jack Croft

Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2007

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