The Dalai Lama arrives today in the nation’s capitol and will spend much of the next two weeks (July 6-16) at the Verizon Center conducting rituals and prayers for world peace, and imparting Tibetan Buddhist teachings. The Dalai Lama is also expected to have meetings with U.S. government leaders.
Events on July 6 will include a birthday celebration for the 76 year-old Tibetan leader. Martin King, son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will join the celebration.
On July 9, the Dalai Lama will give “A Talk for World Peace”on the West Lawn of the National Mall. Whoopi Goldberg will emcee the event, which will include chanting by monks from Namgyal Monastery, performances by cellist Michael Fitzpatrick and singer Skylar Gray.
July 9-11, the Dalai Lama will present the foundations of Buddhist philosophy and ethics, and from July 12-15, he will bestow the empowerment of the Kalachakra, one of the principal tantric practices found in Tibetan Buddhism. Over 10,000 people are expected to attend daily. See here for a schedule of events from July 6-16. A live web cast will be offered (with English and Chinese translation) here.
The Capital Area Tibetan Association (CATA) is organizing the event, along with the greater Tibetan community in the U.S. Mongolians, Kalmyks, and the peoples of the Himalayan regions are also expected to attend.
In addition, a full array of events highlighting Tibetan Buddhism and culture will be held at different locations in Washington and Northern Virginia. These include a display of Kalachakra materials from the Tibetan Collection at the Library of Congress, films, performances by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, and concerts. Evening lectures on Tibetan Buddhist topics will be given by leading Tibetan Buddhist lamas and scholars at the 6th and I Historic Synagogue.
Matteo Pistono, author of recently released “In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet” will be contributing to On Faith during the Dalai Lama’s visit to Washington DC, and tweeting from the Verizon center (Twitter: @matteopistono).