I'm in the beginning stages of planning my trip to Atlanta this fall to attend the Dalai Lama's visit to Emory University.
So far, I have already secured a seat at the First Emory Summit on Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding hosted by the Dalai Lama. His Holiness will be holding conversation with religious leaders from Hindu, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities. They will be discussing whether religions of the world can work together to reduce violent conflict and build peaceful, pluralistic societies.
I will also be attending a performance of the mystical arts of Tibet featuring Sacred Music and Sacred Dance for World Healing the night before the Summit.
Drepung Loseling Monks will also be constructing a Sand Mandala in honor of the visit by His Holiness. This will be the first time I have ever seen one in person.
The Dalai Lama will then end his visit with a public talk in downtown Atlanta on the subject of "Educating the Heart and Mind: A Path to Universal Responsibility."
The reason for the Dalai Lama's visit is that he is being named a Presidential Distinguished Professor at Emory University. The Dalai Lama first visited Emory in 1987, two years before receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, and he has made constant visits to the University since. The Dalai Lama's appointment is the most recent outgrowth of the Emory-Tibet Partnership, which was founded in 1998 to bring together the best of Western and Tibetan Buddhist intellectual traditions. Emory is recognized as one of the premier centers of study of Tibetan philosophy and religion in the West, primarily due to the university's extraordinary relationship with Tibetan Buddhist institutes of higher learning based in India, including the Drepung Loseling Monastery and the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
I wish I could somehow attend the installation of His Holiness and his inaugural lecture but this is reserved for Emory Staff and Students ... we'll see ... Maybe my friend on staff at Emory University can sneak me in. (c'mon 'Bowser')
Should be an interesting and enlightening trip.
PS: All of this AND I'll also be able to visit with the 'Bowser-Kyle' family while staying in Atlanta. Thanks in advance for offering me a place to sleep!