Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Dalai Lama Visits Hawaii!

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit to Hawai'i in April 2012 marked the launch of Hawai'i Community Foundation's new initiative, "Pillars of Peace Hawai'i: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha."

From poems about peace written by fourth graders at Lanai High and Elementary School, Matt Glickstein was inspired to compose "Singing to the World," which the Class of 2020 performs here in honor of the Dalai Lama's visit.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama tours Bishop Museum’s collection of natural and cultural artifacts.  At Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy, he learns more about the history of the Hawaiian people, including the peaceful and powerful response of Queen Liliuokalani, which helped to shape Hawaiian values.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama tells an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 9,000 Hawaii high school and college students that “We are just one big human family.” His messages about peace deeply resonate with the audience of students. Some of them share their reflections about wanting to bring more compassion into their own lives and use their education to help others.

In honor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama—one of Jake Shimabukuro’s heroes—and inspired by the notion of “playing with less,” the ukulele virtuoso dedicates a new song using only three strings. The message by the Dalai Lama about the importance of happiness is one that particularly resonates with Jake. “To me, once you figure out how to be happy in the moment, you don’t long to be somewhere else.”

To an audience of 9,000 attendees completely riveted by what he had to say and how he said it, His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks about the value of looking at a situation from more than one angle, the importance of dialogue, the meaning of aloha, and the power of a smile.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama conducts a blessing of the earth and a consecration of Hokulea and her World Wide Voyage. Amid traditional Hawaiian chants and ceremonies at an ancient and sacred site, the occasion is captured with powerful symbolism and personal moments. Moderator John De Fries connects the call by His Holiness for “universal responsibility” with the responsibility of those in Hawaii to care for the islands.

Kailua High School is recognized for its programs on compassion, conflict resolution, and nonviolence. The Dalai Lama speaks to students about creating a happier world through wisdom and warm-heartedness.

Through the Dalai Lama’s visit, Pillars of Peace aims to inspire people in Hawaii to think about the role of peace and compassion in their daily lives and to inspire people outside the islands to learn from Hawaii’s example of tolerance and diversity.

The visit is part of a new initiative called Pillars of Peace Hawaii, which is sponsored by the Hawaii Community Foundation through a lead grant from the Omidyar Ohana Fund and other funders. The Dalai Lama’s visit is sponsored by the Foundation and its partners as well as by hosts Pierre and Pam Omidyar.

Many thanks to the lovely Pillars of Peace Hawai'i website
Make sure you look at the wonderful slideshow for photos of The Dalai Lama and of the beautiful people and stunning surroundings! Here is a link to photos from the Earth Blessing and Consecration of the Hokulea