How did the Dalai Lama end up visiting Danbury?
In mid-October, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, visited Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. The event was made possible by the Do Ngak Kunphen Ling-Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace located in Redding. The visit marked the culmination of a process that began in 2010 with discussions started between Do Ngak Kunphen Ling officials and two WCSU faculty members: Dr. John Briggs, professor of writing, linguistics and creative process; and Eric Lewis, professor of music and music education.
Introduced by an enthusiastic Richard Gere, who lives here in Pound Ridge, the playful and personable Dalai Lama soon appeared. First sharing anecdotal stories such as his recent cataract surgery, it felt more like seeing an old friend rather than a holy figure. This fragile, funny and wonderful human being quickly earned the adoration of the crowd.
People of all ages, ethnicities, and religious backgrounds joined to hear a positive message of coexistence, peace, compassion, and hope. “Be kind to one another, look after one another, and recognize we are all the same.” He further shared his beliefs that we should not only teach our children to have healthy minds and bodies but to also have healthy and compassionate hearts and replace one’s own jealousy with happiness for others.
DNKL promotes universal peace through Tibetan Buddhist teachings “to create enlightened individuals who work to end the suffering of others.”