Wednesday, May 15, 2013

East and West: A Convergence of Cultures... in Eugene, Oregon

The Dalai Lama visits my home town; wow, the people of Eugene are lucky indeed! It was a great honor and privilege for Eugene to host the Dalai Lama as a guest and personally to hear his message. This would never have happened if it were not for the persistent work of key individuals who were able to convince him to visit Eugene. This visit was the culmination of a a ten-year effort, during which time he was less than excited about the prospect of visiting Eugene. Why not just visit a bigger city? Why not Portland? These were questions that the Dalai Lama himself was asking. Special teahouse sources have indicated that he would have never visited Eugene if it were not for the work of Lady Palmo, who not only had the ear of the Dalai Lama, but insisted that he visit Eugene. Let me tell you that many Eugenians are grateful for your efforts, Lady Palmo. Being born and raised in Eugene myself, I was very moved by the Dalai Lama's visit and I feel like his visit improved the energy of Eugene.

Though the costs associated with bringing the Dalai Lama to Eugene were exorbitant, the University decided in the beginning that the tickets for the event would be very reasonable. They made a portion of the tickets free to students, and offered the remaining tickets to the general public at $20 each. There was no VIP seating, no higher priced tickets for special seating and so on. This move was very democratic and very Eugene. The tickets went fast, selling out within an hour of their release. I was only able to get tickets through the generosity of a teahouse fan. The teabike was at the University of Oregon Street Faire on the afternoon of the event, but my trusty crew was able to cover long enough so that I could slip away to listen. Seeing him, I was filled with emotion. Somehow, just knowing that there are people like His Holiness is enough. As soon as he entered the room, waves of energy—as if a healing presence—filled the air.

Later, I had the opportunity to ask one of my Chinese friends if they were able to attend the lecture given by the Dalai Lama. “No way,” he responded. He went on to inform me that at one U.S. university, the Dalai Lama came to speak and many students from China went to listen. As a result, China nullified any degrees earned from the university. In the eyes of China, all of the credits were void. “Since he came here, we are all very scared.” Who knew Chinese nationals have so much to lose as a result of a visit from Tibet's exiled religious leader. Yet another interesting perspective revealed at the teahouse.  

No comments:

Post a Comment