In August of 1999, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was invited by The Tibet Center and The Gere Foundation to give a series of talks in New York City. The talks were to focus on how we can open our hearts and develop true and lasting compassion toward all beings.
The subject of the lectures given at the Beacon Theater centered on the Buddhist methods by which one achieves ultimate enlightenment. He wove together the contents of two texts, the Middle-Length Stages of Meditation by the eight-century Indian master Kamalashila, and the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas by the fourteenth-century Tibetan practitioner Togmay Sangpo.
On the last day of His Holiness’s visit, a Sunday morning, more than 200,000 people congregated in Central Park’s East Meadow to hear him speak on Eight Verses on Training the Mind, a poem by the eleventh-century Tietan sage Langri Tangpa. Speaking in English, His Holiness conveyed his views on the importance of respecting our neighbors, our compatriots, our fellow nations, and all of humanity. He shared his way of transforming pride into humility and anger into love. He expressed his concern for the divide between rich and poor.
He ended by leading a prayer for all beings to find happiness.