Wiesbaden, Germany, 25 August 2011 - During the final day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Germany, he visited Johann-Peter-Schafter-Schule (school for the blind and visually impairedchildren) in Friedberg on 24 August.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama with visually impaired children at the Johann-Peter-Schafter-Schule in Friedberg, Germany, on 24 August 2011. Photo/Tibet Bureau Geneva
“It is hard for me to express feelings and emotionsin a foreign language, but I can say, that His Holiness touched our hearts. At the moment there is no other theme than the visit of His Holiness. Our parents, our colleagues and especially our children were deeply impressed of His amicability, His kindness,” wrote the Headmasterof the school in an email.
“Afterwards I asked one of the girls, His Holiness had embraced, how shewould feel. Answer: “I will be happy the rest of my life.”
He further wrote, “I also will tell you that the teachers and educators of the two groups with the multiple handicapped children were encouragedby the words of His Holiness; and the children there, that I know for sure, felt the special situation and the Kindness of His Holiness.”
On arrival at the school, His Holiness first visited the multiple handicapped children home. He met blind children with multiple handicapped and their helpers.
“I really admire your service to such needy children. Best way to translate compassion,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “You are carrying out impossible task but wonderful. I really admire your dedication.”
His Holiness prayed while he was with the children. Then he walked to the assembly over 200 blind children.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting young visually impaired children who sang on his arrival at theJohann-Peter-Schafter-Schule in Friedberg, Germany, on 24 August 2011. Photo/Tibet Bureau Geneva
As His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived at the stage in front of the assembly, the students – all blind children sang asong called “Hello”. There was genuine joy and happiness in the voice of the children as they welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In the school’s Headmaster welcome address, he said, “In the long history of this school, it is an extraordinary day. Please welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Your Holiness, we thank you very much for visiting us.”
“Dear young brothers and sister, their helpers and parents,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “I am extremely happy to have this opportunityto spend few minutes among those young children. I am extremely very happy.”
He said that he really felt that those helpers giving their energy, lifeand time in taking care of these children were implementing the real meaning of compassion.
“Genuine compassion without expecting something reward,” he said. “I really admire your dedication. Please do it continuously… This kind of dedication is the best way to offer God.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to visually impaired children, their parents and helpers, at the Johann-Peter-Schafter-Schule in Friedberg, Germany, on 24 August 2011. Photo/Tibet Bureau Geneva
Despite your blindness, you have a human brain, he said. Then His Holiness told them a story of meeting a young blind Tibetan boy about 40 years ago. He sent this boy to a blind school. Few months ago, this person came to see His Holiness. He told His Holiness he had a good family and no concern about his own livelihood. He told His Holiness that he wanted to carry out community work and help blind Tibetan children.
“You have good future and please keep your self-confidence. You have lots of good teachers and helpers. You must have the attitude that you can do it, even though you have slight problem,” His Holiness said.
Then he walked among the assembled children. May of the students hugged His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Earlier in the morning His Holiness granted a special audience to the Tibetan community in Germany. Many Tibetans came far as Hamburg, Munch, Berlin and etc. Among the 250 gathered few had come from Switzerland, Belgium and France.
The community sang the Tibetan national anthem and then His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed the Tibetans.
His Holiness said that he always remind Tibetans to maintain the good Tibetan character based on compassion and human values. These values of our parents have been passed down centuries from generation to generation he said.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses members of the Tibetan community in Wiesbaden, Germany, on 24 August 2011. Photo/Tibet Bureau Geneva
Themajority of the 250 were young Tibetans with lots of small children. His Holiness said that though we have been separated from our homeland -mentally, physically and emotionally were are Tibetans. Tibetan language must be maintained and not forgotten. He said preserving the Tibetan language is very important especially amongst the younger generation. It would indeed be very sad if in the long run, Tibetans arenot able to speak Tibetan.
His Holiness said there was more interest on the Tibetan issue in the world, including amongst the Chinese population. Great changes were taking place in the world. Today freedom is prevailing all over the world.
“Human beings cannot continue to live under repression. This cannot be permanent,” he said.
Despite the change of generations, the Tibetan spirit in Tibet is very strong.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a detailed background to his decision to devolve his political authority to the elected Tibetan leadership. Hesaid he was happy and proud to implement what he believed in and it wasfor the long-term benefit of the Tibetan people.
He said that in 1951, he assumed the formal political leadership of the Tibetan people. In 1952, he established a reform committee in Tibet. TheTibetan democracy was implemented in early 1960. Since in 2001, the Tibetan people have directly elected leadership. In 2011, His Holiness handed over the political leadership to the directly elected Tibetan leadership.
Since the direct election of the Kalon Tripa in 2001 by the Tibetan people, His Holiness always said his political leader is the Kalon Tripa. Ten years later, Tibetans have elected a young and well educated Kalon Tripa.
Today, once again, I have another opportunityto talk to you through this online Dharma Talk, proposed by Master Hui Siong. He is Vice President of the World Buddhist Sangha Counciland General-Secretary for Chinese Language Department. He is alsoabbot of Beeh Low See Temple, Mahakaruna Buddhist Center and Vihara Mahavira Graha Medan Temple in Singapore and Indonesia. The connections which lead to this opportunity could be traced back through the founding Congress of the WBSC in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1966 and the second Congress held at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Saigon, Vietnam in 1969 by the Most Venerable Thich Tam Chau, co-founder of WBSC. At that time, I had just moved from Hoi An to Saigon; so I did not have theopportunity to participate.
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