October 23, 2007

Dalai Lama Hoosier

The Dalai Lama is spending the week in Indiana.

The trip marks the fifth visit to the area by the Dalai Lama, whose brother founded the Tibetan Cultural Center near Bloomington as a faculty member at Indiana University. It comes less than a week after he was given America's highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal.

The event, proclaimed on billboards around Bloomington, is expected to generate $1 million for the city's economy as Buddhists from across the state and beyond convene for a week of festivities. Those include performances by Mongolian dancers wearing giant head masks and throat singers whose guttural noises defy the lower reaches of the musical scale.

But the main draw during the Dalai Lama's five-day stay is the 12 hours of Buddhist teachings he is scheduled to deliver at IU and two lectures geared to the general public, one at IU and another at Purdue.

If the Pope would come and deliver 12 hours of Catholic teaching at State funded universities, would he be as welcome?

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