On Wednesday, San Diego State opened its doors to the Venerable Lama Tenzin Dhonden. Lama Tenzin, personal peace emissary for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s spoke at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.
Lama Tenzin’s lecture encompassed several different topics, from the basics of Tibetan Buddhism, such as the Four Noble Truths, to more universal issues such as the cessation of suffering. After the brief lecture, the floor was opened for questions. Many in attendance, students and non-students alike, had difficult questions for Lama Tenzin, which yielded difficult answers.
Most were curious regarding happiness and how one truly achieves it.
“Find what makes you angry and do the opposite of that,” Lama Tenzin said, making a joke in response to one student.
However difficult the questions and answers were to process, many students left feeling fulfilled. Justin Ancheta, a double major in sociology and religious studies, said the most important question asked was “How do you get rid of the ego?”
Ancheta said Lama Tenzin’s response, that as human beings no one can ever get rid of the ego, was a “crucial point” in the discussion.
John Davidi, a second-year political science major, said Lama Tenzin had “a lot of wise words” to offer students. “He made things sound simple, but also so complex,” he added.
Lama Tenzin’s visit to SDSU is a precursor to a three-day San Diego visit from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in April. The Dalai Lama will speak at SDSU, UC San Diego and the University of San Diego.
Melissa Henss, assistant director of presidential events for SDSU, said Lama Tenzin “felt it was important to come and lecture with our campus community, to educate people on ‘Compassion Without Borders,’ what that means, and really just to answer any questions people might have before His Holiness’ visit in April.”
The Dalai Lama visits SDSU at 9:30 a.m on April 19 and will deliver a lecture about “Upholding Universal Ethics and Compassion in Challenging Times.”