On May 6, 2009 the World Ethical Foundations Consortium was honored to host His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's first visit to Albany, New York. More than 2,600 citizens of Albany and the surrounding communities listened as His Holiness' gave a public talk titled "Compassionate Ethics in Difficult Times." In the address, His Holiness spoke of the need to foster ethics and embrace basic human values, especially during these times of economic and socio-political turmoil.
His Holiness' spirited personality came through in his comfortable candor and relaxed stage presence – he sat in an oversized chair, legs folded beneath him. He paused frequently to laugh and look into the audience as he spoke passionately about the importance of ethics in today's world, highlighting it as the missing ingredient in politics, business and religion.
His Holiness presented his hosts, Sara and Clare Bronfman, along with local leaders Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Albany Diocese and Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings, with white silk scarves called "kataks," which according to Tibetan culture symbolize purity.
When asked why he decided to come to Albany, His Holiness said he met with representatives from WEFC and determined their genuine focus was to promote ethics and it was his moral responsibility, given his commitment to promoting basic human values and secular ethics, to support others doing the same. At the event's conclusion, His Holiness showed his support for Keith Raniere, conceptual founder of WEFC, by calling him on stage and placing a katak around his neck.
For WEFC cofounders Sara and Clare's personal reflections on the event, please follow the links below to their personal blogs. We invite you to share your own thoughts and reflections in the comments sections of these posts:
DVD of the full event now availalble
The DVD of His Holiness' talk titled "Compassionate Ethics in Difficult Times" is now available for purchse. To order the DVD, click the 'Purchase Now' button below (orders will be processed via PayPal and return to this site after purchase processing).