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Frequently Asked Questions

The Minnesota Visit 2011
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Why is the University of Minnesota interested in having the Dalai Lama speak?

The Dalai Lama is a world leader who has received both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Gold Medal. His interest in scientific inquiry has lead to groundbreaking research on meditation and advances in neuroscience. He is the author of over 72 books including the New York Times best seller The Art of Happiness. The focus of the public lecture, Peace through Inner Peace, is a topic of great interest and relevance to the university community and beyond.

Who pays the cost of hosting the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama?

The University of Minnesota and the Tibetan-American Foundation of Minnesota are the co-hosts of this visit. The University of Minnesota is not covering any of the expenses. Funds to cover expenses have been raised through philanthropy and ticket sales.

What is the Medicine Buddha Empowerment?

The morning event, the Medicine Buddha Empowerment, is hosted by the Tibetan-American Foundation of Minnesota. It is generally described as a spiritual and cultural ceremony that offers a blessing for healing illness of body and mind and awakening the innate healing wisdom that lies within each person. The Medicine Buddha Empowerment is a blessing for long life, health, and enlightenment that requires no commitment to practice the teachings. It is conducted in the Tibetan language with some English translation.

Will the Dalai Lama be meeting with governmental and political leaders?

Meeting with governmental and political leaders is not the primary focus of this visit. The Congressional delegation and other statewide leaders have been invited to attend the public lecture.

What is the meaning of the Mandala?

Mandala is the Sanskrit word for "circle" and is a sacred symbol that mirrors a state of consciousness through a concrete pattern. Native Americans use Mandalas as healing and transformational art in the sand; art therapists to facilitate healing; and Tibetans as a visual representation of Buddhist beliefs.

The Yamantaka Mandala (such as the one featured on the cover of official Minnesota Visit program and banner) is a blueprint of the deity and Conqueror of Death Yamantaka's palace. This Mandala was specifically created to honor the many Tibetans who lost their lives in the political and religious struggles over Tibet this century.

As a universal symbol of healing, the respective circles of the Mandala capture the many diverse aspects of the Center's work: reflection, transformation, spirituality, creation and lastly, the going journey that continues to shape what we are to become.

The Yamantaka Mandala is in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  For more information, visit the Minneapolis Institute of Arts website.

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