Dalai Lama to visit Louisville, speak at KFC Yum! Center - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Dalai Lama to visit Louisville, speak at KFC Yum! Center

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Portrait of the Dalai Lama. Portrait of the Dalai Lama.
Will Lestrange Will Lestrange
Monks at the Drepung Gomang Institute Monks at the Drepung Gomang Institute
The Drepung Gomang Institute The Drepung Gomang Institute

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Thousands of people are expected to pack in to the KFC Yum! Center Sunday to listen to one of the world's most renowned proponents of non-violence and world peace.

Louisville's Tibetan Buddhist Center, the Drepung Gomang Institute, and Louisville Metro Government have teamed to host the 14th Dalai Lama on Sunday, May 19 through Tuesday, May 21. During his visit, the Noble Peace Prize and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient will speak at several events.

Drepung Gomang Institute staff said the religious leader's visit has been over a year in the making, having begun as a request to bless the organization's new temple.

"We sent an invitation out," said Will Lestrange, vice president of the Drepung Gomang Institute. "It took awhile but eventually the invitation came back saying he'd be really happy to come and do it."

Lestrange said members of the temple then teamed with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer to have the Dalai Lama's visit coincide with city's 2013 Festival of Faiths, an interfaith forum featuring speakers and events that takes place through May 19 at Actors Theatre and Galt House Hotel. The Dalai Lama's Engaging Compassion events, however, are not a part of the Festival of Faiths.

The Dalai Lama, the 77-year-old Buddhist spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, will deliver addresses about compassion.

"The Dalai Lama's message is not about trying to make more Buddhist around the world," said Lestrange. "It's about how we can become better human beings, whatever tradition we come from."

On Sunday, community activist Christopher 2X will share the stage with the Dalai Lama.

"He brings the message of engaging compassion," said 2X. "It is very much needed in any city that's challenging itself to get through the muck and the mud of what violence entails for neighborhoods and the city as a whole."

The Dalai Lama's Louisville schedule includes a public discussion on compassion Sunday, May 19 at 1 p.m. followed by a two-party Buddhist teaching on Monday, May 20 beginning at 9 a.m. Both events will take place at the KFC Yum! Center and are open to the public. However, tickets are required.

For more information about the events, including entry times and ticket prices, visit http://www.dalailamalouisville.org.

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