Buddhist Lama to speak on Arizona campus
By Matt Andazola, The Wildcat Online, March 30, 2007
Arizona, USA -- The hustle of college life is everywhere on the UA campus, but Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche wants you to put it out of your mind for an at least an hour and a half.
Kenchen Gyaltsen, a Buddhist Lama from Tibet who has been living on-and-off in the U.S. for 25 years, said he thinks meditation and self-examination are positive habits that many Americans don't take advantage of, regardless of their religious faith.
"A majority, you know, don't have the time to do that," Kenchen Gyaltsen said. "It's so hectic."
Pati Stein, a 1983 UA graduate, is a member of Drikung Namgyal Ling, a Buddhist group in Tucson that will host a free public talk with Kenchen Gyaltsen tonight in the Center for English as a Second Language.
Stein said the event, called "Loving Kindness and Compassion: Finding Happiness in an Imperfect World," is meant for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, as well as people from outside the UA community.
"I don't know that we were targeting students per se," Stein said. "But certainly people who have an intellectual bent will find Buddhist thought interesting."
Stein said members of the student club Students for a Free Tibet helped secure an on-campus location to host the event.
Kenchen Gyaltsen said he was born in Tibet, a place "untouched by modern technology," then traveled to India, where he was introduced to a modern way of living.
He said his arrival in America changed the way he looked at the world.
"I am very impressed in general with American society," Kenchen Gyaltsen said. "It opened up a whole new aspect of my mind. There are so many opportunities for what a person can be."
Kenchen Gyaltsen said the focus of his talk will be how to create an individual life of kindness and compassion that he says will radiate to the rest of society at large.
The talk will be tonight from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Room 102 of the Center for English as a Second Language. The event is free and open to the public.