His Holiness first gave an interview to RFA’s Mandarin service, which was conducted by Jerry Zhao, a broadcaster. The issues touched include the devolution of authority as well as the future of the Middle Way Approach.
Thereafter, His Holiness met with some members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Board of Radio Free Asia, and other invited guests. Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche, Special Envoy Lodi Gyari and Kalon Tripa-elect Lobsang Sangay were present during this session.
Following this, His Holiness addressed a select group of staff of Radio Free Asia, including from the Tibetan service. He began by talking about the role of the United States in this world saying that it needed to continue its spirit of sense of concern for others. He said the world’s greatest democracy, United States, and the most populous democracy, India, had important role for the future development of the world. He said that education was of paramount importance in
promoting the ideals that they represented.
His Holiness also said the radio stations had an important role to play. He recalled the contribution of the erstwhile Radio Free Europe in helping to educate the people on the other side of the Berlin Wall. He said now the facilities were much better than the time of the RFE and so the contribution to educate people who have no free information will be extremely helpful. His Holiness said that so far there was no Mongolian service at RFA and suggested that it may be worthwhile to begin.
His Holiness then returned to the Verizon Center. In the afternoon, he addressed a meeting of representatives of communities that follow the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
For the last ten years leaders in the worldwide Tibetan Buddhist community have been discussing ways to work together more closely, sharing experiences and seeking common ground for the preservation of their unique cultural identities. With the encouragement of His Holiness, Buddhist leaders met in September 2010 in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, at the invitation of Khamba Lama Gabju Choijamts Dembreel, Abbot of the Gandan Tegchenling Monastery, to begin discussions intended to lead to the formation of a permanent structure to preserve Tibetan Buddhist cultures and identity. The cultures and lands included stretch from the Tibetan plateau and entire Himalayan region to Mongolia, the Buddhist Russian republics, and to the lands where Tibetan Buddhist traditions have taken root in more recent times.
The Ulaan Baatar meeting was quickly followed by a second conference, held the following month in Atlanta, GA.
The Washington, DC meeting was a continuation of this effort to strengthen traditional cultures with ties to the Tibetan forms of Buddhism, focus world attention on issues of cultural loss and develop and coordinate programmes responding to the preservation of living Tibetan Buddhist cultures as well as the integrated development needs of its stakeholders, particularly those most disadvantaged.
In his address to the group, His Holiness began by saying that many of the problems in today’s world are on account of a lack of moral principles. He added that it was worthwhile to promote these moral principles, which are connected to the basic human values.
His Holiness said that those people who prefer investigation rather than faith tend to show interest in Buddhism. Referring to the masters of the historical Nalanda monastery in India as professors, His Holiness said they favored investigation. His Holiness therefore felt that the Nalanda tradition, which Tibetan Buddhism follows, was of special significance at this point of time.
His Holiness said he normally made three distinctions when it came to Buddhism. First, is the subject of science that is touched in Buddhist scriptures. He said these should be considered science and not a religion. Secondly, there are issues like the concept of impermanence and interdependency, which involve philosophical viewpoints. These, he said should be considered as philosophy. The third distinction is Buddhist religion.
His Holiness said that given the developments in Tibet and the Tibetan people, we depend on Mongolia to help preserve this Tibetan Buddhist tradition. His Holiness said that to do this there was the need of enthusiasm and for more meetings and discussions, like the one they are having today.
Thereafter, His Holiness continued his preliminary teachings of the two texts, Stages of Meditation by Kamalashila as well as the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Thokmey Sangpo, completing the same at the end of the day. At the conclusion, His Holiness explained his position on the issue of propitiation of Shugden and asked those who do so not to receive initiations from him in the coming days.
Before returning to his hotel, His Holiness led the process of decorating the Kalachakra Mandala, which was completed today by monks of Namgyal Monastery.
In the evening Special Envoy Lodi Gyari hosted a reception in honor of Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche. It was attended by serving and retired Administration officials as well as long term friends of the Tibetan people. The Gyalwa Karmapa also graced the occasion. The Special Envoy thanked Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche for his service and also introduced the Kalon Tripa-elect, Dr. Lobsang Sangay.