Singh also stressed the Dalai Lama’s connection to Indiana. His Holiness has traveled to the Hoosier state seven times, predominantly to Bloomington. His older brother and fellow Lama Thubten Jigme Norbu taught at Indiana University and founded the now named Tibetan-Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in the city.
Although Norbu died in 2008, the Dalai Lama still has nephews who reside in Bloomington and carry on his brother’s legacy.
Lisa Morrison, director of media and public relations for the event, said the family will travel to visit their uncle while he’s in Louisville.
“I have to remind our honorable mayor of Louisville that he has a lot of catching up to do with the city of Bloomington because every square inch of Bloomington is hallowed ground,” Singh said. “Momentarily, I felt a little jealous of the city of Louisville that he would not be visiting Indiana, but then I realized that his spirit has the power to shine deep within us each time we even think about him.”
Franklin University Professor David Carlson also stressed that the importance of the Dalai Lama’s visit extends to the whole of the Midwest.
“What happens in Louisville affects us very deeply north of you across the Ohio River,” he said.
Carlson also said communities, as living organisms, are interconnected and that revitalization of society rests on a basic concept.
“The secret of renewing communities is not a mystery. All religions know that compassion is the healing medicine,” Carlson said. “May his visit and celebration of this city as a city of compassion lead other cities and other organizations to take a similar step not only elsewhere in Kentucky but throughout the entire region we know and claim today as America’s heartland, its living center.”
Featuring three days of activities, the Dalai Lama’s stay in the city will include several teaching opportunities, the largest of which will take place on May 19 at the Yum Center. Expecting a crowd of 15,000 in attendance, Fischer said this two-hour presentation will focus on how people can engage with compassion regardless of their religious orientations.