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  1. #1
    homo-loving sonovagun anii's Avatar
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    Default Dalai Lama in Seattle

    He's been here since Friday. The tickets are free but I think they're all sold out. I didn't hear about it until mid-day Friday and I was in Lacey all last week, so I haven't gone.

    Has anybody else in my neck of the woods been to see him? Is/was there any interest in him here on this list? If you've seen him, what did/do you think?

    I'm sorry I missed him. I'd have liked to hear what he has to say about life and the state of the world.
    There's reason to be afraid, and reason to open your heart. ~ Seal

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  2. #2
    Senior Member sandwich's Avatar
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    I saw him at Qwest Field on Saturday and today at UW. It's hard to give a thorough reflection due to the amount of topics he addressed, how long the speeches were and how difficult it often was to understand him. But he has a sense of humor, he often comes across as childish, and he's certainly modest. I preferred his speeches much more than the random politicians or faculty who introduced him.

    Qwest field: It was very difficult to understand anything. Gregoire proved that she is more than capable of abusing the word "compassion." As in, "please give His Holiness a warm and compassionate welcome." wtf? Most of what he said was very simple, which is appropriate considering that it's a simple message. Encourage education, try to understand your neighbor, show compassion. He mentioned at one point that people say he has military power and that the idea is "nonsense," but I didn't catch the context of it. It's good that he's modest, but he is certainly beyond being a "simple monk." Denying that makes it seem like he feels no responsibility toward those who he influences so greatly. I'm sure he does, but it annoys me when people downplay obvious power. Also he said something about how since women have more compassion they should have more of a role. Role in what, I'm not sure. I think it's good to empower women, but I don't think we necessarily have more compassion than men do. I might sound very negative here, but I'm just trying to recall my impressions. It was really cool hanging around the stadium before it started. Even though I was on the top level, there were a bunch of Tibetians around and wearing their traditional clothing. The little ones were adorable!

    UW: This was a very impressive ceremony as the Dalai Lama was awarded an honorary PhD from the University. He thanked them for giving him a degree without making him study. Oh btw, the Dalai freaking Lama is an official Husky now- eat it, Wazzu. He had a better speech, or at least I could hear it. He talked for a long time about how students have the responsibility of world peace and things like that. "War is an out-dated concept." He also asserted the idea of more universal government, and placing the headquarters of continental governments outside their regions to reduce suspicion.. I'm not sure what I think about that. There was a long Q&A afterward with pre-appointed students. The idea was cool, but some of the students asked loaded questions from their fields, and all the DL could say was "I don't know!" He did continue to answer their questions, but would continue to establish that he wasn't an authority on the matter.

    I read an article about his involvement in a scientific seminar. Some of the members complained since he isn't a scientist. Someone was quoted as saying that his childlike behavior, delight and charm make people care little about what he actually says. I don't know the exact quote, but I think it has a lot of merit. I appreciate the modesty and self-depreciative humor, but it's very distracting from how he actually addresses the issues. That said, they were great experiences and I'm glad I went to both.

    But seriously, how did you not know about it until now? I've been hearing about it for the last month? I guess people on campus were much more pre-occupied about it, but still...

  3. #3
    homo-loving sonovagun anii's Avatar
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    What if anything did he say to address China, Tibet, and the Olympics?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    Denying that makes it seem like he feels no responsibility toward those who he influences so greatly. I'm sure he does, but it annoys me when people downplay obvious power.
    Maybe he's successfully detached from identification with that aspect of ego.

    But seriously, how did you not know about it until now?
    Simple. I work too hard. And I never watch, read, or listen to local news. I only listen to KEXP and they are a music station. We only listen to NPR on podcast and even then it's only "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me." We only watch whatever programs we've recorded on TIVO, and we skip through the commercials.

    Wow. I can't believe it. It seems I've finally managed to intentionally push myself out of the loop.
    There's reason to be afraid, and reason to open your heart. ~ Seal

    Refreshment for your ears: www.kexp.org

  4. #4
    heart on fire
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    Honestly, I am as uninterested in the Dalai Lama's visit as I am the Pope's coming visit.

  5. #5
    Senior Member sandwich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anii View Post
    What if anything did he say to address China, Tibet, and the Olympics?
    Very little. From what I gathered, the closest reference was him saying that people claimed he had militant power. There were a bunch of people at Qwest with China t-shirts, but they had seats directly behind him in the stadium and most of the camera flashes came from their section. All tickets and adverts specifically said NO cameras, so they were either VIPs or sneaky. Or both. I think there may have been some kind of protest at UW with a Chinese flag waving around, but I didn't bother investigating due to the rain. Tight security all around, and I think the U president had asked for the Chinese student union to behave themselves. Chinese international students are a large demographic here.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sandwich's Avatar
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    I talked to someone who has seen him speak four times over the week. I guess this morning was the inter-faith dialogue panel with representatives from various organizations. She said that it was the best he'd spoken and that it was the first time he had seemed prepared to answer questions. I hope UWTV has or will upload it since it was a fairly exclusive event. I haven't followed the local news well, but I guess there has been substantial opposition. I'll check just a sec...

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle PI
    An estimated 400 pro-China demonstrators chanted "liar, liar, liar" outside his appearance Monday at the university. They accused the Dalai Lama of instigating violence in Tibet and undermining the Beijing Olympics.
    I should have checked it out. I've also heard that a lot of parents are upset because students are being pulled out of classrooms and educational funds are being used to expose the students to a religious leader while they aren't allowed to recognize Christian traditions/holidays in school. I didn't find any sources about that, but there is a pretty good article from the Seattle Times about the Chinese-American opinion.

  7. #7
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    That's the first thing I think of when I head "Dalai Lama": instigating violence. I hope that we can get through the Olympics without major strife over there.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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