Suits in no rush to become enlightened

by Linda Morris, Sydney Mornign Herald, May 21, 2007

Sydney, Australia -- THE Federal Government may or may not be rolling out the welcome mat for the Dalai Lama - and Tibet's exiled spiritual leader is also struggling to enlighten Sydney's business leaders.

<< The Dalai lama 11 day-June visit to Australia will take him to Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Sydney

Organisers of a business forum at the Wentworth Sofitel Hotel, one of the keynote fund-raising events of the Dalai Lama's 11-day Australian tour next month, have sold 235 of the 500 tickets.

By contrast, a Perth business forum featuring the 71-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner was sold out within six weeks. Bookings have already closed at four public events.

Organisers say that they are unfazed by the slow response, and are confident momentum will build as tour publicity begins.

The June 14 Business Leaders' Forum Luncheon - for which tickets range from $495 a single to $20,000 for a "benefactor table" of 10 - has been billed as a chance to hear the Dalai Lama's "unique perspective on the challenges faced by business leaders in today's highly competitive environment".

The national marketing manager, Maryanne Cain, said the forum had been priced to raise $250,000 towards the costs of two free public talks in the Domain, including a tribute concert on Friday, June 15. Unlike other speaking events, forum tickets are not tax-deductible.

"We're not a business; we are not here to make a profit. We are here to fund a national tour, and it's tricky to meet our financial obligations and stage huge free public talks, and we are relying on the generosity of the Australian public and business."

Paul Ritchie, the public affairs manager of the NSW Business Chamber, said he suspected pricing was more an issue than the relationship with China.

"In a city with 1.4 million workers, finding 200 people at $495 a seat is not a challenge. The challenge probably is to spend $20,000 on a table, and I suspect your market there is very small."

Lynn Ralph, a Buddhist and founder of the consultancy firm Cameron Ralph, will hear the Dalai Lama speak.

"Business is all about people, and … valuing the individual. You can have a successful business and still treat people with enormous respect and understanding. Buddhist philosophy gives a framework of corporate responsibility that makes sense."

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: