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Triangle Buddhists hoped for Dalai Lama visit 'for literally decades'

Posted May 21

— The news that the Dalai Lama will come to Raleigh this October was exciting for many, but was especially significant for Buddhists in the Triangle.

The Kadampa Center in Raleigh is described as a place for spiritual growth where members practice authentic Tibetan Buddhism.

At the head of Tibetan Buddhism is the Dalai Lama, and the news of his impending visit has caused a buzz around the center.

“For Buddhists, this is like having the pope come. It’s that important,” Kadampa Center director Robbie Watkins said.

Watknis said the center has extended invitations to the Dalai Lama in the past, but did not receive a response.

“He receives 1,000 invitations a day to come to places all around the world,” he said.

The fact that the Dalai Lama has formally accepted Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane’s request to visit was, to Watkins, a dream come true.

“I was ecstatic. It’s something that we had been hoping would happen for literally decades,” Watkins said.

Triangle Buddhists hoped for Dalai Lama visit 'for literally decades'

While the details of the Dalai Lama’s trip are not set in stone, Watkins has a pretty good idea of what he will likely do when he’s in the Triangle.

“He likes to meet with young people, college students, high school students. And he likes to do multi-faith events, meet with leaders in other faith religions,” Watkins said.

The Dalai Lama is a beloved spiritual leader who reaches the masses in a way few others do and members of the Kadampa Center said his visit will be great for the entire community.

“He’s not out to convert Buddhists. He’s just out to help people become better people,” said Christy Batts

“As he says, ‘my religion is kindness’ and I think that’s something people from any faith or religion can relate to,” Watkins said.

Members of the Kadampa Center are hopefully the Dalai Lama will stop by the center and visit while he is in Raleigh.

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  • Paul Shields May 22, 7:20 a.m.
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    I look forward to this visit maybe this is what opens the minds of those in power that we are people first political second.
    I have read the Dalai lama is interested in science. I hope those that decided the budget does not meet him, I can see it now Dalia: so you are the one that voted to take away food for close to 100000 children but why did you vote to 100% kill that math and science program? If no education how can child grow learn to feed self if you not helping?