His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama of Tibet visited Woodstock
on Saturday, the 22nd of November, to speak and visit with students
and staff. An all-school assembly, including a 45-minute address by
the Dalai Lama, was followed by a staff reception. The Dalai Lama
also met privately with Woodstock's 66 Buddhist students from
eight different countries, including eight Tibetan students.|
In his address the Dalai Lama spoke of the necessity of global responsibility and the need to work as one community towards peace and justice. This must start in the individual, in a sense of caring, compassion and commitment Referring to non-violence, he said it is not simply reftaining from violence but being fully involved with the resolution of conflict. He encouraged students and families to practice dialogue and compromise to solve conflicts. This is the beginning of world peace. The Dalai Lama spoke of the common message of all world religions-love, compassion, justice. He promoted interfaith dialogue with committed practitioners, including pilgrimages to each others' holy places; to create mutual respect and harmony.
On Tibet, the Dalai Lama believes it is only a questiun of time, that with dialogue a meaningful solution will be found. He is encouraged by the response from the international community. The Tibetan spirit is very strong, he concluded.
Following the Principal's welcome at the Parker Hall assembly, journalism teacher Jon Derksen presented the Dalai Lama with High Road to India, a student video project on the Tibetan children who continue to arrive over the high Himalaya, seeking an education in India. Ten boys from grades 11 and 12 performed a Tibetan dance in costume and the Girls Chorus sang a folk song. The Dalai Lama was equally taken with the elementary students who were seated on dhurries on stage. Following the Dalai Lama's talk, Rinengi Varte, president of POWER, presented him with student-raised funds to support a student at Tibetan Homes Foundation [To page 4] in Mussoorie.
Woodstock has had a long association with the Dalai Lama. On leaving Tibct in April 1959, he first lived in Mussoorie. The work of Woodstock on behalf of the Tibetan refugee children in Mussoorie drew his attention, and he visited Woodstock in November of that year and several times in 1962.