By: Dan Riney
The O’Neill Center on Western Connecticut State University’s Westside campus has been extraordinarily busy today due to His Holiness’ visit.
I spent the afternoon listening to the WXCI’s coverage of the Dalai Lama visit, and it was a bit disorganized but a fun listen. I went over to see the live screening of the Dalai Lama’s talk over on WCSU’s Midtown Campus in White Hall. The screen was huge and it felt like a movie theatre. I was surprised that the auditorium was not even 25% full and my friends and I had the entire balcony to ourselves.
I interviewed one of WCSU’s students Nora Hanley about the Dalai Lama visit. Nora said “I don’t really know much about the Dalai Lama but I am very interested on what he has to say.” After the speech I asked Nora how she felt. She replied “I really want to start using some of the Dalai Lama’s teachings in my own daily life.”
The Dalai Lama came on after much anticipation. The speech was set to start at 1:30 p.m.; however His Holiness did not appear on stage until about 2 pm. There was a very interesting monk chanting ceremony in the beginning of the event. These monks sang for about 25 minutes, reciting some sort of prayer. In my opinion, it was a little long, but definitely set the mood for the historical figure.
The Dalai Lama started off speaking about trust and friendship, after being introduced by the Dalai Lama’s dear friend, Richard Gere. The Dalai Lama sported a WCSU visor and had the audience giggling in the first 5-10 minutes of his speech. The Dalai Lama then spoke about ways to overcome anger and practice compassion in our daily lives. He offered some very insightful information and had me and my peers all consumed in his words. By the end His Holiness answered some questions and I then asked my friend Joe Connolly what he thought of the speech.
He commented “ He (The Dalai Lama) was easy to relate to because he was so down to earth and personal. It seemed like he was talking with you, not at you.”
Overall, the event was a success and we look forward to hearing His Holiness speak again tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. My advice, if you are 15 minutes late you will be just fine.