Later in the morning, His Holiness visited Capitol Hill to meet members
of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Speaker Penpa Tsering, Kalon
Tripa-elect Lobsang Sangay, Special Envoy Lodi Gyari and Secretary
Tenzin Taklha accompanied His Holiness. Chairman of the Committee,
Senator John Kerry, and 11 members of the Committee were present
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama with
Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Kalon Tripa-elect Dr. Lobsang Sangey
during his visit to the US Capitol on July 13, 2011. Photo/Tenzin
Senator Kerry formally welcomed His Holiness saying
‘Tashi Delek”. He said he admired His Holiness’ message of peace.
Senator Kerry said that Congress had the greatest respect for His
Holiness as indicated by the Congressional Gold Medal bestowed on him in
2007. Senator Richard Lugar, the Ranking Member, spoke next. He, too,
expressed his admiration of His Holiness and assured him that he had
strong friends in the Senate.
Senator Kerry also welcomed Kalon Tripa-elect Dr.
Lobsang Sangay. Speaker Penpa Tsering was also introduced to the members
In his remarks, His Holiness explained the
devolution of his authority. He then talked about people being important
saying that just as the world belonged to humanity, China belonged to
the Chinese people. His Holiness also talked about his deep admiration
of democratic principles and about how the Tibetan people appreciated
the democratic freedom in the United States. His Holiness said he wanted
to thank the United States Senate for the good support to the Tibetans.
He reiterated that Tibetans were looking for a solution that did not
involve separation of Tibet from China.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama with
Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Tom Udall (D-NM) during his visit to the
US Capitol in Washington DC on July 13, 2011. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL|
His Holiness also talked about the situation
in Tibet where there were increasing control in the people’s ability to
preserve and promote their identity and culture. He said one source of
encouragement was the growing interest in Tibetan Buddhism in the
Chinese community. His Holiness highlighted the right of the 1.3
billion in China to know reality as also their having the ability to
judge what is right and wrong. Therefore, His Holiness said that
censorship was immoral and transparency was needed in China.
Dr. Lobsang Sangay informed the Committee members of the situation
in Tibet and how there was a form of undeclared martial law in Tibet. He
also laid emphasis on the need to support education of the Tibetan
people and to help them have economic sustenance. The senators and the
Tibetan leaders discussed what the Senate could do to help the Tibetan
Following this meeting, His Holiness attended a separate function
within the Capitol complex, where he was presented with the Mother
Teresa International Caring Award for dedicating his life to promoting
the values of caring, compassion and public service by former senators
Robert Dole and Tom Daschle, honorary co-chairs and Mr. Val J.
Halamandaris, executive director of the Caring Institute.
|His Holiness speaking after
receiving the Mother Teresa International Caring Award during his visit
to the US Capitol in Washington DC on July 13, 2011. Photo/Tenzin
"Today we were honored to recognize the peaceful
work that one man has accomplished because he truly cares for the people
he serves," said Senator Daschle.
"His Holiness is driven by a sincere compassion for people," said
Senator Dole. "The Caring Institute was founded upon this same concept.
Its mission is rooted in Mother Teresa's directive that we must reverse
the poverty of spirit that exists in our world today."
"In Tibetan Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is anyone who is motivated by
compassion and seeks enlightenment. The Tibetan name Dalai Lama means
Ocean of Wisdom. His Holiness is the personification of caring,
compassion and kindness," said Mr. Halamandaris. "Our goal is to
highlight incredible people who give back to society in outstanding ways
and who are truly making a difference in our world."
In his communication informing His Holiness of the award, Senator
Dole had said, “No one better personifies the value of caring than you.
Caring is, after all, a synonym for compassion – a value which is
central to your religion. You have devoted your life to promoting this
Mother Teresa was among those who had been honored with this award
by the Caring Institute, which was “founded in 1985 to honor and promote
the values of caring, integrity, and public service.” The Institute
draws its inspiration from Mother Teresa, about whom a documentary was
shown at the beginning of the award ceremony.
His Holiness expressed his appreciation of the work of the late
Mother Teresa and said he was honored to be receiving this award.
His Holiness then returned to the Verizon Center, the venue of the teachings.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama giving the Kalachakra preparatory initiation in Washington DC on July 13, 2011.|
afternoon session began with the recitation of the Heart Sutra in
English. (On July 11, 2011 the session had begun with the recitation of
the Heart Sutra in Japanese and Vietnamese.) Following the recitation,
His Holiness explained that in the Chinese translation of the Heart
Sutra, the word “too” was not there in the following sentence, “the five
aggregates, too, are by their nature empty.” He said it was there in
the Tibetan version as well as in Sanskrit. He said the word “too” was
critical in giving a profound meaning to the sentence as it emphasized
the selflessness of the person as well as the selflessness of phenomena.
Thereafter, His Holiness completed the preliminary initiation for
students, which included generation of Bodhicitta and the distribution
of the protective string and the Kusha grass to study the dreams.