Capitol Visitor Center, Washington, D.C.
July 11, 2018
In an elegant chamber of the Capitol Visitor Center, many from the House of Representatives had gathered to celebrate the eighty-third birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They included Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader and long-time supporter of His Holiness, as well as Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Jim McGovern, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, Congressman John Culberson, and Congresswoman Katherine Clark.
After the Arija Rinpoche offered prayers for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kalon Ngodup Tsering, the representative of His Holiness in North America, read a message from him. It concluded, “Help others, and if you do not have the opportunity to do so, then at least refrain from harming them. That is the very best gift for my birthday.”
His talk was followed by the cutting of a huge birthday cake by the Gyalwang Karmapa, the Chief Guest for the occasion, who invited Nancy Pelosi and Jim McGovern to help him by placing their hands on the knife handle as well. Once this endeavor was complete, the Karmapa was invited to talk. He spoke spontaneously as he addressed those in the room.
“First I would like to offer my Tashi Delek to all who have gathered here in Congress to celebrate the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Personally, I am very happy to be here on this special occasion.
“His Holiness is not only someone who is revered by all Tibetans, but he is also esteemed world-wide as a leader for world peace and well-being for everyone, so we celebrate his birthday as a day that is special and important to us all. It is a day when we think of His Holiness and also offer him support by committing ourselves from the depths of our hearts to work for world peace and happiness for every living being.
“This occasion is so joyful that it is hard to put feelings into words. Yet further, it is a time to reflect on the situation of the Tibetans in Tibet, who are not allowed to express their feelings about His Holiness and who are suffering great difficulties. Therefore, it is also a day for us Tibetans outside Tibet to dedicate ourselves even more to fulfilling His Holiness’s wishes and to supporting his compassionate vision. Thank you.”