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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 May, 2004, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Dalai Lama urges 'warm hearts'
The Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama said he had no miracles to offer
The Dalai Lama has been outlining his thoughts on personal and global peace during a visit to Scotland.

The exiled political leader and spiritual head of Tibet's Buddhists is spending four days in Glasgow before going on to Edinburgh and Dunfermline.

He spoke about achieving happiness but said he could not promise "miracles".

The Nobel Peace Prize winner will also address MSPs at Holyrood and religious leaders at Dunfermline Abbey, as well as talking to schoolchildren.

The Dalai Lama is completing the final leg of his visit to the UK and began his time in Scotland with a talk to more than 9,000 people at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.

He discussed aspects covering ethics, religion and promoting his philosophy of non-violence and peace.

The spiritual leader spoke about the way to achieve a happy life, insisting the key was to develop the potential of human intelligence and to balance that by developing "warm heartedness".

Monk preparing mandala

He said that human beings have huge potential, both for good and for evil, taking the example of the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York.

To avoid intelligence being dominated by hatred, His Holiness stressed the importance of what he called a "warm heart", which he said could be nurtured by following the teachings of all the major religions.

The ultimate aim of all the religions of the world was, he said, to serve humanity and to make warm hearted and sensible human beings.

Afterwards, during a question and answer session, he was asked about preparation for death, keeping young children off drugs and how to cope with depression.

The final question put to him was what it meant to be a Buddhist, a query he set the whole audience laughing with when he answered: "I don't know."

Cultural events

The Dalai Lama's trip, which has been five years in the planning, has been welcomed by religious and political leaders.

The leader of Tibetan Buddhists is also head of state for the Tibetan government in exile since 1950, after China took over control.

As part of the build-up to the Dalai Lama's arrival, Tibetan monks made a traditional mandala design at the Tramway on Glasgow's southside and then ceremonially destroyed it, to be scattered in the River Clyde.

The monks, who are from the Tashi Lhunpo monastery in southern India, said the mandala represents the celestial mansions of one or more deities.

Sign
The public talk covered all aspects of Buddhist teachings
To make them, millions of grains of sand are laid down in elaborate designs described by Buddhist texts, which the monks have to learn by heart during their training.

On Wednesday in Edinburgh, the Dalai Lama will give the traditional Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament's main chamber before addressing MSPs and speaking to schoolchildren.

Later he will give a keynote address to 2,200 people at Edinburgh's Usher Hall, which like most of his Glasgow engagements is already sold out.

In Dunfermline he will meet religious leaders including the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dr Alison Elliot, and leader of Scotland's Catholics Cardinal Keith O'Brien before meeting more schoolchildren.

There will also be a number of cultural events surrounding the visit such as performances from the Tibetan musician Soname Yangchen and the Tashi Lhunpo Monks.

The Dalai Lama was first invited to Scotland by the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association and later by the Dharma Network who are organising his Glasgow visit.


SEE ALSO:
Dalai Lama honoured by Liverpool
27 May 04  |  Merseyside
Chinese protest over Dalai visit
28 Apr 04  |  Merseyside


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