(TibetanReview.net, Feb20’16) – While undergoing precautionary treatment for a prostate condition at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota state, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on Feb 11 met with Mayor Tom Tait of Anaheim, California; Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky, and Mayor Ardell Brede of Rochester, Minnesota, and others working to build kind and compassionate cities. He is later to give two short religious teachings and a public talk and to take part in a panel discussion on ‘cultivating well-being in ourselves, our communities and the world’ organized by the center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before returning to India.
The Dalai Lama expressed admiration for the Mayors’ efforts in naming their cities as cities of kindness and compassion. And he felt the time had come to begin a systematic effort to develop more kind-hearted people founded on secular ethics, meaning, without any question whether they believed in religion or not.
He said America, the world’s most powerful economy, should now pay more attention to developing inner richness, or inner value. “If the US is able to develop more cities of kindness and compassion and accordingly a practical human value based education curriculum, it will have an impact. Already many people realize that material progress by itself is not enough to develop a happy life,” he said.
Mayor Greg Fischer spoke of having noticed that people were still a bit apprehensive when they used the word ‘secular’ as some of them felt it was non-religious and suggested the use, instead, of the term ‘human values’ or ‘universal values’ which he said people found much more accepting.
Later on Feb 21, the Dalai Lama will give a short teaching on Geshe Langri Thangpa’s Eight Verses of Training the Mind (lojong tsik gyema) and also confer the Generating of Bodhicitta (semkyi) empowerment. These are being organized by the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Also on Mar 8 the Dalai Lama will give another short teaching on Geshe Langri Thangpa’s Eight Verses of Mind Training. This has been requested by the Wisconsin Tibetan Association and will be held at the Madison Masonic Center.
An on the following day the Dalai Lama will participate in a panel discussion on cultivating well-being in ourselves, our communities and the world being organized by the center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Dalai Lama next visits the United States in June to speak to students in the University of Utah.