Dalai Lama To Visit Harvard

Local Tibetan community prepares for official visit

The Dalai Lama will visit the Boston area at the end of April, and plans to spend two days at Harvard during his stay.

Harvard faculty and staff have been preparing for the Dalai Lama’s visit on April 30th for the past year, according to Lobsang Sangay, a research fellow at Harvard Law School who served as the coordinator of the Dalai Lama’s visit to New England.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, will spend his time in the area giving talks and participating in conferences. He has travelled to Harvard twice in the past 15 years.

The Dalai Lama will give a talk called “Educating the Heart” at Memorial Church on April 30 in front of over 900 faculty and students. The event’s lottery closed on Wednesday.

After the talk, the Dalai Lama plans to plant a tree with University President Drew Faust, and later receive a citation from Harvard, said Sangay.

The following day, he will participate in a panel discussion called “Meditation and Psychotherapy—Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom,” at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, organized by the Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry and the Cambridge Health Alliance. There, the Dalai Lama will speak on compassion and wisdom along with several Harvard professors, including psychology professor Steven Pinker.

On May 2, the Tibetan Organization of Boston is sponsoring a morning sermon, on the Four Noble Truths, and a public talk on the path to happiness at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough according to Harvard Buddhist chaplain Lama Migmar Tseten. Tickets for the event are available on Ticketmaster.com.

“He is a like a rock star; he could probably fill the stadium,” said Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp. “He is a very kind and charismatic man, and many will be excited to see him.”

Local Tibetans crafted a throne for the Dalai Lama to sit on during the teaching, which they unveiled last Saturday.

“We are very excited and honored to host His Holiness, so a local Tibetan carpenter and tailor built a throne for His Holiness,” said Pema T. Shastri, a spokesman for the Tibetan Association of Boston. “It has taken several months to build the throne.”

Sangay said he hopes the throne will eventually be placed in a Tibetan Heritage Center, which the Association plans to build in the next few years.

He added that he believes the careful planning will result in a educational and exciting experience for the Harvard community.

“We have gone through every detail of his schedule minute by minute, and the various security measures we will take,” Sangay said. “We are looking forward to good visit.”