Dalai Lama Meets With San Diego Tribal Dignitaries

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On April 19th the Dali Lama and San Diego American Indians met at an historic cross-cultural and sacred private audience at San Diego State University’s Viejas Arena.

San Diego, CA – Sycuan elder, George Prietto and Manzanita chairman, Leroy Elliot, welcomed the Dalai Lama with sage in their hands and a greeting in the Kumeyaay language. Sycuan councilman, James La Brake, provided an English interpretation for the Dalai Lama.

Tight security added an air of solemn majesty to this private pious occasion. Sycuan Chairman Danny Tucker offered cordial remarks, welcoming His Holiness to San Diego and expressing respectful gratitude to him.

The room filled with representatives of the Kumeyaay and local tribes were at tentative and reverently respectful as The Dalai Lama drew similarities with Tibet’s struggle for independence from China with the indigenous audience members.

Ancient Kumeyaay Bird Songs with haunting gourd rattles and the gentle dance of female relatives preceded the Dalai Lama’s message.

His holiness emphasized the value of Western knowledge with Indigenous knowledge for the people to insure a balanced education and a quality egalitarian life.

He emphasized the importance of keeping language alive in order to stay connected culturally.

The Dalai Lama nodded approvingly when he was apprised of existing Tribal efforts to recover ancestral remains from the University of San Diego in order to conduct a cultural appropriate repatriation and internment.

Born Tenzin Gyatso in 1935 in northeastern Tibet, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama when he was 2 years old. After the Chinese government suppressed a Tibetan national uprising in 1959, the Dalai Lama began living in exile in Dharmsala, India. During his extensive travels since, he has visited more than 60 countries, engaging in dialogues with national and spiritual leaders.

UCSD was the first stop on a two-day tour of San Diego universities by the man who is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists and a 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner revered by millions of people, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, worldwide.

During his visit to San Diego he discussed climate change with UCSD professors Veerabhadran Ramanathan and Richard Somerville at RIMAC Arena. The talk was titled “The Global Impact of Climate Change: Balance Through Universal Responsibility, Compassion and Human Consciousness.”

At USD, he discussed “Cultivating Peace Through Justice.” and Upholding Ethics and Compassion in Challenging Times.

The audience with the Tribal dignitaries brought to an end a, spiritually educational and uplifting tour from this remarkable teacher. The event concluded with a collective message of spiritual goodwill and continued prayers of support for His Holiness from Viejas Chairman, Anthony Pico.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.