LOUISVILLE — Once-in-a-generation opportunities, by definition, don’t come around very often. But according to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, residents throughout Kentucky and Indiana will have this exact chance when His Holiness the Dalai Lama comes to the city this May.
At a special interfaith ceremony held Wednesday at Louisville’s Tibetan Buddhist Center, the Drepung Gomang Institute, representatives from various cultural, academic and religious groups gathered to celebrate and preview the upcoming visit.
“We’re just delighted to be participating here as a city in the visit by the Dalai Lama,” Fischer said. “I just feel like this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for people in Louisville and the surrounding region; the opportunity to hear and learn from the world’s most iconic figure, a true leader in his quest for peace, for justice, for compassion.”
As the 14th and current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso has been officially recognized since 1950 as one of the main leaders of the Gelugpa line of Buddhism. In addition, until his recent retirement in 2011, he served as the head of the exiled Tibetan government. In 1989, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his peaceful advocacy of Tibetan liberation from China.
In addition, His Holiness also is renowned for his dedication to promoting inter-faith dialogue, a key component to his May visit. Indianapolis resident and Sikh representative K.P. Singh has met the Dalai Lama on several separate occasions. Singh said His Holiness’ teachings transcend any particular religion.
“He is compassionate and loving of every faith, tradition, culture and community,” Singh said. “He said learning about other faiths is a reaffirmation about who you are and what your faith is all about. And if there are some elements in there that strengthens your own faith and your own tradition, then by all means certainly learn from that.”