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Tibet's Dalai Lama to visit Stanford April 19-20

STANFORD -- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled leader and winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, will visit Stanford University April 19-20 for two faculty seminars and a lecture to Stanford students, faculty and staff.

Hosted by Memorial Church, the Dalai Lama will participate in two two-and-one-half-hour seminars with some of Stanford's most noted researchers and teachers. Participants will discuss the points of convergence between religion, science and society before an invited audience of about 30 people.

In the first seminar on Tuesday, April 19, Lee Yearley, professor of religious studies, will act as moderator. Other participants will include Stanford faculty members Helen Blau, molecular pharmacology; Steve Chu, physics; Russell Fernald, psychology, David Spiegel, psychiatry; and Terry Winograd, computer science.

The second seminar, on Wednesday, April 20, will involve humanists and social scientists. Participants will include Stanford faculty members John Perry, philosophy; William Durham, anthropology; Sylvia Yanagisako, anthropology; and Yearley. Stanford alumnus Robert Livingston, professor of neuroscience at the University of California-San Diego and a longtime friend of the Dalai Lama's, will act as moderator.

In between, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, the Dalai Lama will lecture at Memorial Church to about 1,400 Stanford students, faculty and staff on the power and the limitations of intellect in religion, with a brief question-and-answer session to follow.

Tickets will be available only to current Stanford students, faculty and staff, and will be distributed through a lottery system to be announced later. Loudspeakers also will be set up in the Quad for non-ticket holders who wish to hear the address.

The Dalai Lama initially was scheduled to come to Stanford in October 1992, at the invitation of Robert Gregg, Stanford's dean of the chapel. That visit was postponed due to the Dalai Lama's ill health.

"I invited the Dalai Lama to come to Stanford several years ago because he is a major religious spokesperson, and I knew of his interest in participating in conversations concerning the intersection of science, philosophy and spirituality," Gregg said.

"We look forward to his visit and to his role in a set of conversations among people at Stanford. It's also a way of underlining the multi-faith character of the Stanford community, and of Memorial Church's concern to support the broad range of religious expression."

Born in 1935 to a peasant family in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognized at the age of 2 - in accordance with Tibetan tradition - as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the 13th Dalai Lama, and thus an incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion.

In 1950, at 15, he was called upon to become head of state, when Tibet was threatened by China. He fled Tibet in 1959 with about 80,000 Tibetans, after a failed uprising against the Chinese occupying forces.

Living in exile in Dharmsala, India, the Dalai Lama continues to serve as Tibet's spiritual leader and head of state, preaching non-violence and working to preserve the language, history, religion and culture of Tibet.

His talks in other forums have focused on the commonality of faiths and the need for unity among different religions.


EDITORS NOTE: These events are not open to the public. There will be a news conference from 2 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the Stanford Faculty Club. Reporters also can reserve press seats for the Memorial Church lecture by contacting the Stanford News Service, (650) 723-2558. Stanford will provide a pool feed for broadcasters.


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