Washington, DC, July 9, 2014: The Office of Tibet – Washington, DC hosted a private reception to celebrate His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 79th birthday at its new office building. The event also marked the formal opening of the Office of Tibet in Washington, DC.
Close to 100 guests attend the evening event including Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), Kasur and former Special Envoy Gyari Rimpoche, Trisur Tenzin Namgyal Tethong, senior staffers from the Congress, President and senior staff of the International Campaign for Tibet, representatives from various NGOs working on human rights and foreign policy issues, representatives from the local Tibetan community, and a good number of Chinese friends of Tibet. Dr. Richard Davidson, a friend of His Holiness and the renowned neuroscientist and one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of contemplative practices, such as meditation, on the brain was the special guest speaker. The evening brought together many old and new friends of Tibet and it was an occasion for reconnection and expanding the community of Tibet friends and supporters in Washington, DC
The program started with offering of scarves to His Holiness and prayers recited by Khenpo Tsultrim Tenzin from Tibetan Meditation Center (Maryland), Karchen Lobsang Soepa (from Tashi Lhunpo) and Kusho Dorjee Norbu (from Sakya). Representative Kaydor Aukatsang welcomed everyone and explained that the Office of Tibet moved to DC to help educate and build a strong community of friends and supporters around three core issues: amplify His Holiness’ core commitments of promoting human values, fostering inter-religious harmony and preserving Tibetan language and culture; seek support for a peaceful resolution to the Tibet issue; and mobilize support for the education and cultural preservation of the Tibetan community. Honorable Congressman McGovern cut the birthday cake and reiterated his strong support for Tibet and the Tibetan people. Tenzin Dechen of Office of Tibet read out the Kashag’s July 6 statement. Dr. Davidson spoke about the growing interest within the scientific community on His Holiness’ work and Tibetan Buddhism.
The evening concluded with singing, dancing and musical performances by Tenzin Dolma from New York, Yeshi Palmo, Dolma Sither and Dechen from DC, and Ngawang Samphel. Guests departed with a complimentary copy of His Holiness book – Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World.
Report filed by: Ngawang Yonten, OOT Washington