Sharing The Joy Of Meeting The Dalai Lama in Hawaii

Heidi Chang meets the Dalai Lama in Hawaii | Photo © Eye of the Islands Photography

Reporter Heidi Chang and members of the media met with the Dalai Lama when he visited Oahu | Photo © Eye of the Islands Photography

The Dalai Lama sure knows how to make an entrance.

For hours, thousands of people made their way through tight security to see the spiritual leader of Tibet give a talk at the University of Hawaii’s Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. On stage, Henry Kapono and Michael MacDonald, got everyone singing “What The World Needs Now Is Love.”  Then suddenly, the crowd erupted with applause, as the Dalai Lama stepped out on stage, bowing and smiling.  He went on to captivate the audience with his thoughts on “Advancing Peace Through The Power of Aloha.”

For four days, the Dalai Lama participated in an extraordinary cultural exchange with the people of Hawaii. He visited schools and met with leaders and members of Oahu’s diverse communities.

The Earth Blessing and Consecration of Hokulea for its World Wide Voyage | Video © Pillars of Peace Hawaii

I caught up with the Dalai Lama as he wound up his visit at Kualoa Beach Park, where he blessed the Hawaiian voyaging canoe, Hokulea. During the blessing, I could feel a slight breeze picking up. A good sign, I thought. The canoe will certainly need a good wind when it takes off to sail around the world next year.

Dalai Lama on Hokulea

The Dalai Lama on the Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokulea | Photo © Pillars of Peace

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Afterwards, the Dalai Lama answered a few questions from members of the media, then shook our hands. He exuded an amazing warmth and joy, despite all the challenges he’s faced along the way. As the Dalai Lama left to continue on with his journey, you could hear his voice trailing off in the distance with his last words: “Aloha. Aloha.”

It was also a great time to catch up with other journalists and friends, including Don Chapman, the editor of Midweek. He wrote several articles about the Dalai Lama’s visit, including “Four Days With The Dalai Lama.”

The Dalai Lama came to Oahu to launch a new initiative called Pillars of Peace Hawaii: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha: “The program aims to bring global peace leaders to Hawaii to share ideas about actively practicing peace and aloha in our daily lives, both at home and around the world.”

You can watch videos and learn more about the Dalai Lama’s four-day visit in Hawaii here.

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