Dalai Lama to key Portland environmental summit

A Catholic university and Tibetan college are joining forces to bring the Dalai Lama to Portland, Ore., to key a May 9-11 environmental summit in the area.

"The summit includes three days of teachings and conversation with the Dalai Lama and leaders from Pacific Northwest environmental, scientific, policy and faith communities," according to a story from the Catholic Sentinel, the newspaper of the Portland archdiocese.

The visit, sponsored by the University of Portland and Maitripa College, begins with two May 9 events at the University of Portland's Chiles Center. Maitripa is a Portland-area Tibetan Buddhist college, the only such campus in the Pacific Northwest.

That morning, the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner will be joined by Rabbi Michael Cahana of Congregation Beth Israel, Imam Muhammed Najieb of the Muslim Community Center, Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz, and a representative of the Portland archdiocese for an interfaith dialogue, "Spirituality and the Environment."

That afternoon, the Dalai Lama will offer a public address, "Universal Responsibility and the Inner Environment: the Nature of Mind."

Tickets are already sold out for both events at the University of Portland, the Web report stated.

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On May 10, the Dalai Lama will deliver a 1:30 p.m. public lecture co-organized by the University of Oregon and the Eugene Sakya Center for Wisdom and Compassion at the Matthew Knight Arena on the university's Eugene campus. The lecture's title is "The Path to Peace and Happiness in the Global Society."

The Eugene Sakya Center is a nonprofit foundation "open to all schools and traditions of Buddhist wisdom," according to its website.

At 9:30 a.m. May 11 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, the Dalai Lama will be among a panel of political and environmental leaders discussing the roles of science and policy "in catalyzing environmental action globally and in the Northwest," the Portland archdiocese reported.

Other scheduled panel members include David Suzuki, an award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster; Andrea Durbin, executive director of Oregon Environmental Council; Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer.

The Dalai Lama will conclude the weekend with a public address at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 1:30 p.m. May 11, "Inspiration for the Global Environment." The World Affairs Council is a sponsor of this event.

Maitripa College will host "Green Action Day," an "eco fair" from noon to 5 p.m. May 12 at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland  that will feature "local environmental organizations, speakers, musicians and participatory activities, and is intended to provide Oregonians with practical, real-world opportunities to make a difference on environmental issues," a college news release said.  

The Dalai Lama was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.

The University of Portland is an independently governed Catholic university associated with the Congregation of Holy Cross.


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