Dalai Lama plans Seattle visit in April

By LEVI PULKKINEN, Seattle P-I, Nov 14, 2007

Seattle, WA (USA) -- The Dalai Lama will be in Seattle in April to take part in four days of discussions on raising children to be happy, kind adults, event organizer Seeds of Compassion announced Wednesday.

According to the announcement, the Tibetan religious leader will join a panel of scientists, public-policy leaders and other dignitaries during free events at Seattle Center and Qwest Field. The largest event is scheduled to take place at Qwest Field on the first day of the event, Saturday, April 12.

This week the Dalai Lama said the goal of the conference is to help children understand the value of compassion.

"I believe that to achieve a happy life {minus} on an individual, family, national or global level {minus} we ultimately need to reach wholeheartedness of compassion," the Nobel laureate said.

"I really feel that this conference can plant positive seeds for a happy future, a happy world, particularly for children. They, the younger generation, are the real basis for our hope."

Presentations during the event will be broadcast live on the Internet. A variety of presentations aimed at educators and children are scheduled, including one aimed at reducing aggression levels among young children.

Seeds of Compassion, headed by former Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Raj Manhas, aims to improve social learning for young children. The organization was created earlier this year with funding from the Kirlin Charitable Foundation of Bellevue.

"Many established organizations and programs here in Washington state are engaged in improving the tools and support to help children develop emotionally and cognitively," Manhas said.

"Seeds of Compassion will serve as the unifying catalyst to amplify this work by bringing the collective heart of the Northwest and the world together during this four-day celebration of hope."

The fledgling organization has become partners with several early learning-oriented charities and research organizations. Gov. Chris Gregoire is the honorary chairwoman of Seeds of Change.

The April visit will be the Dalai Lama's third to Seattle. He was last in the Northwest in 2001, when he spoke at a peace rally in Portland.

Organizers expect about 40,000 people will attend the Qwest Field event. More information is available online at www.seedsofcompassion.net.