Dalai Lama: seek happiness via the inside

Dalai Lama, with UNI President Ben AllenHis Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet was welcomed to the University of Northern Iowa by a sell-out crowd of more than 5,400 people in the McLeod Center. Just as with the morning session, the Dalai Lama took the stage for his afternoon keynote to a great deal of applause.  He then put on a purple and gold UNI visor to more applause, explaining it's to keep the bright lights from hurting his eyes.

Generally people seek a happy life from the outside. That's a mistake, he said. "People need to seek happiness via the inside. We must realize that the No. 1 commitment of human value is human compassion. My second commitment is promotion of harmony among different traditions through education."

Knowledge is your most precious friend because it's always there, as your fortunes rise and fall. But the Dalai Lama said education alone can not guarantee happiness, just as knowledge alone may not bring inner peace. "More educated people become more cunning, become expert at cheating other. More educated people lie, more dangerous. Knowledge combined with anger, jealousy, then may become destructive knowledge."

Dalai LamaAccording to the Dalai Lama, scientific studies have shown fear, constant fear, hatred, can be eating our immune system. The solution, he says, is to keep compassionate mind, calm mind. A compassionate mind is good for our own health. A compassionate heart is a key for a happy life. Inner beauty is always more important.

Concluding, the Dalai Lama said it's up to the younger generation to take up the mantle and work on the issues. "It can be a generation of peace and harmony rather than violence."

Before the keynote speech by the Dalai Lama, the crowd was entertained by Tibetan dancing and singing by the Tibetian American Foundation of Minnesota and with music by the UNI School of Music Wind Symphony and choral ensembles.

The UNI Concert Chorale and Wind Symphony performed an original piece of music composed for the Dalai Lama's visit by Jonathan Schwabe, UNI School of Music professor, followed by President Benjamin Allen and Executive Vice President and Provost Gloria Gibson conferring a Doctor of Humane letters honorary degree on the Dalai Lama.

UNI President Benjamin Allen noted at the beginning of the afternoon that today's events helped raise $32,000 to be set aside for future scholarships for Tibetan students.



Tibetian Dancers performing before the keynote

The sellout crowd at the McLeod Center