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Hello Dalai

Dalai Lama Makes Debut Trip to NOLA for Week of Peace and Performance



After Sunday’s tragic mass mother’s day shooting in the 7th Ward, New Orleans could use a peaceful reminder.  This weekend, the city is in luck.  Taking a break from the mountains of Tibet, the high lama himself, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, takes a seat at the Convention Center to share ideas of compassion, equanimity and non-violence in his debut trip to the Crescent City.

 

“The Dalai Lama in New Orleans is historic,” said Dr. Ron Marks, Dean of the School of Social Work Tulane University.  “He will speak to the part that compassion and connection play in building the resilience of communities and individuals.  He will deliver his message of compassion and ethical behavior and non-violence and we are happy to receive him.”

 

As the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, has served as head of the Gelung school of Tibetan Buddhism since 1950, the longest-lived Dalai Lama yet.  Among his many achievements, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, and travels around the world preaching non-violence. 

 

Hosted by the Tulane School of Social Work, his conference, “Resilience: Strength Through Compassion and Connection,” will feature a variety of public speakers, including writer Margaret Wheatley, psychiatrist Dr. Richard Davidson, Mayor Mitch, the Drepung Loseling Monks, and of course the Dalia Lama himself. 

 

Along with his attendance at the conference, His Holiness will speak on Friday and Saturday to the public about “Strength Through Compassion.”  Before then, people can gear up for the lama’s arrival at the monk organized Tibetan bazaar in the Convention Center from 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Friday, and at UNO from noon to 4:30 on Saturday. 

 

Thursday begins at 10 am (registration starts at 8:30 am) with a resilience guided bus tour through the city, followed by several workshops that take a deeper look into unanswered questions of mindfulness and resilience.  If one city can recognize resilience, New Orleans can. 

 

The afternoon also brings chanting, Mardi Gras Indians, sand mandalas and Wheatley’s “Whatever the Trauma, Community is the Answer” talk and Davidson’s “Change Your Brain by Transforming Your Mind” talk.  

 

Friday continues with more mindfulness.  After a morning talk, the Dalai Lama sits in o an evocative panel discussion with Davidson and Wheatley and, naturally, more sand mandalas. 

 

See the Full Schedule Below:

 

Tuesday May 14 and Wednesday May 15

 

9am-5pm: Tibetan Cultural Center at Convention Center (Free and open to the public) Morial Convention Center Hall G Lobby

 

9am-5pm: Drepung Loseling Monks Sand Mandala

 

Morial Convention Center Hall G Lobby

 

Thursday May 16

 

8:30am-5pm: Registration

 

10am-11:30am: Concurrent Morning Activities:

  • Resilience Guided Bus Tour
  • Opening the Heart: Arousing the Mind of Universal Kindness
  • Doing the Work: Recognizing and Building Community Resilience
  • Is Mindfulness Enough? An exploration into the reaches of awareness, compassion, from the individual to society.
  • Shell Shocked: Where compassion and connection come together to create a path towards non-violent, empowered resilience. The screening will include a panel discussion made up of a mentor, teenagers from the film, a Tulane School of Social Work graduate, a Tibetan monk and the director, John Richie. Q&A will follow.

11:30am-1pm: Lunch Break (on your own)

 

12:30pm-12:50pm: Depung Loseling Monks Chant

 

12:50pm-1:15pm: Welcoming Celebration

 

1:15pm-1:30pm: The Resilience of New Orleans

 

1:30pm-4:30pm: “Whatever the Trauma, Community is the Answer” by Margaret Wheatley

 

5pm-6pm: Networking Dinner

 

6pm-6:30pm: Mardi Gras Indians Performance

 

6:30pm-9pm: “Change Your Brain by Transforming Your Mind” by Dr. Richard Davidson

 

9am-5pm: Tibetan Cultural Center & Sand Mandala at Convention Center (Free and Open to the Public)

Morial Convention Center Hall G Lobby

 

Friday, May 17:

 

8am-9am: Breakfast

 

9am-9:15am: Welcome and Introductions

 

9:15am-10am: His Holiness the Dalai Lama

 

10am-11am: Panel Discussion: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Richard Davidson, Margaret Wheatley

 

11am: Conference Concludes

 

9am-5pm: Tibetan Cultural Center & Sand Mandala at Convention Center (Free and Open to the Public) Morial Convention Center Hall G Lobby

 

5:30pm: Sand Mandala Closing Ceremony (Free and Open the Public)

 

Morial Convention Center Hall G Lobby to Mississippi River

 

*Correction: The shooting occurred in the 7th Ward, not the French Quarter, and this article was updated to reflect those changes at 5:45pm.

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