UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Creating Hope with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama in Conversation with Pico Iyer on Tuesday, May 18 at 8:30 p.m. PDT

This FREE virtual event is the keynote for Arts & Lectures’ new year-long programming initiative CREATING HOPE

SUMMARY

  • His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet
  • In Conversation with Pico Iyer
  • FREE virtual keynote for CREATING HOPE, Arts & Lectures’ new year-long programming initiative
  • His Holiness first visited UC Santa Barbara in 1984, then again in 1991 (two years after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize), 1997 and 2009
  • 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of The XIVth Dalai Lama Chair in Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies at UC Santa Barbara, created in His Holiness’ honor in 2001
  • Professor José Cabezón, the first holder of the Dalai Lama Chair, is a professor of Religious Studies at UCSB
  • FREE and open to all 
  • Virtual event stream available on multiple platforms, including:
  • Tuesday, May 18 at 8:30 p.m. PDT (Wednesday, May 19 at 9:00 a.m. IST)
  • A replay of the event will be available in perpetuity on His Holiness’ YouTube channel
  • Info: (805) 893-3535, www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu

UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) presents Creating Hope with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama in Conversation with Pico Iyer on Tuesday, May 18 at 8:30 p.m. PDT / Wednesday, May 19 at 9 a.m. IST (online/virtual event). This FREE virtual presentation is the keynote event of Arts & Lectures’ new year-long programming initiative, CREATING HOPE. This virtual event will stream free on several platforms worldwide, including: His Holiness’ YouTube page, A&L’s Facebook page and its website.

Describing himself as a simple Buddhist monk, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama is believed to be a manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, inspired by a wish to benefit all sentient beings and vowing to help humanity. Chief among His Holiness’ principal commitments, he is concerned with encouraging people to be happy, advocating the cultivation of warm-heartedness and human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In this keynote event of A&L’s 2021-2022 CREATING HOPE programming initiative, His Holiness is joined in conversation by Pico Iyer, a friend, observer and student of the Dalai Lama for more than 40 years.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama most recently visited UC Santa Barbara in 2009 after an endowed professorship – the XIVth Dalai Lama Chair in Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies – was created in his honor.

José Cabezón, the first holder of the Dalai Lama Chair and a professor of Religious Studies at UC Santa Barbara, adds: “Twelve years since the Dalai Lama’s last visit to the UCSB campus, we are overjoyed to welcome him again to UCSB for this very special conversation with Pico Iyer, part of the Arts & Lectures CREATING HOPE series.”

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama first visited UC Santa Barbara in 1984, after which it became a top center for Buddhist and Tibetan studies. He returned in 1991, two years after receiving the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize. In June 1991, the University announced the creation of the Tibetan Cultural Studies endowment. Various donors contributed gifts in an effort to preserve, protect and learn from the traditions of Tibetan culture. His Holiness again visited the campus in 1997 to inaugurate the endowment, and in 2001 the funds were used to establish the XIVth Dalai Lama Endowed Chair in Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies in the Department of Religious Studies.

“It is such an honor to have been chosen as the first custodian of the Dalai Lama Chair,” says Professor Cabezón upon the 20th anniversary of the Chair’s creation. “Over the last 20 years our programs in Buddhist and Tibetan Studies have grown and evolved into some of the best in the world. Hundreds of students have taken our classes, and a dozen PhD graduates from our program hold positions at other universities, academic institutes and nonprofits. None of this would have been possible without the amazing support of the University and the Religious Studies Department.”

“We are humbled that His Holiness the Dalai Lama and our good friend Pico Iyer have chosen to honor our community in this way. We’ve collectively seen many unique challenges, this last year in particular, and yet our community forges ahead with courage and grace,” says A&L Miller McCune Executive Director Celesta M. Billeci. “Arts & Lectures is uniquely positioned to bring together the wonder, ideas, creativity and hope that we all need to come through this stronger than ever. The CREATING HOPE programming initiative will help us continue to move forward together, and there is truly no better way to kick it off than with the sage wisdom of His Holiness.”

ABOUT HIS HOLINESS THE XIV DALAI LAMA

The Dalai Lamas are believed by Tibetan Buddhists to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are realized beings, inspired by the wish to attain complete enlightenment, who have vowed to be reborn in the world to help all living beings.

His Holiness’ Principal Commitments:

Firstly, as a human being, His Holiness is concerned with encouraging people to be happy – helping them understand that if their minds are upset mere physical comfort will not bring them peace, but if their minds are at peace even physical pain will not disturb their calm. He advocates the cultivation of warm-heartedness and human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline. He says that as human beings we are all the same. We all want happiness and do not want suffering. Even people who have no religious belief can benefit if they incorporate these human values into their lives. His Holiness refers to such human values as secular ethics or universal values. He is committed to talking about the importance of such values and sharing them with everyone he meets.

Secondly, as a Buddhist monk, His Holiness is committed to encouraging harmony among the world’s religious traditions. Despite philosophical differences, all major world religions have the same potential to create good human beings. It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and recognize the value of their respective traditions. The idea that there is one truth and one religion is relevant to the individual practitioner. However, with regard to the wider community, he says, there is a need to recognize that human beings observe several religions and several aspects of the truth.

Thirdly, His Holiness is a Tibetan and as the Dalai Lama is the focus of the Tibetan people’s hope and trust. Therefore, he is committed to preserving Tibetan language and culture, the heritage Tibetans received from the masters of India’s Nalanda University, while also speaking up for the protection of Tibet’s natural environment.

In addition, His Holiness has lately spoken of his commitment to reviving awareness of the value of ancient Indian knowledge among young Indians today. His Holiness is convinced that the rich ancient Indian understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions, as well as the techniques of mental training, such as meditation, developed by Indian traditions, are of great relevance today. Since India has a long history of logic and reasoning, he is confident that its ancient knowledge, viewed from a secular, academic perspective, can be combined with modern education. He considers that India is, in fact, specially placed to achieve this combination of ancient and modern modes of knowing in a fruitful way so that a more integrated and ethically grounded way of being in the world can be promoted within contemporary society.

For more information, visit www.DalaiLama.com

ABOUT PICO IYER

Pico Iyer is the author of two novels and 13 works of nonfiction. His books have been translated into 23 languages. He has also written the introductions to more than 70 other works as well as liner notes for Leonard Cohen and a screenplay for Miramax. A constant contributor to Time, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books and more than 250 other publications for more than 38 years now, he has recently published three new books, including Autumn Light and A Beginner’s Guide to Japan, both on his adopted home near Kyoto. In recent years, he has given four talks for TED, and they have received more than 10 million views so far.   For more information, visit www.PicoIyerJourneys.com

ABOUT CREATING HOPE

This is a moment that calls for Optimism, Resilience, Courage and Vision. Santa Barbara needs Hope, and Arts & Lectures is uniquely positioned to respond. Our 2021-2022 CREATING HOPE initiative will inspire our community with shared experiences – online, outdoors, in the schools, in theaters and in alternative spaces. By engaging thought leaders, creative problem solvers and arts visionaries, CREATING HOPE programs will strengthen human connection, bridge our partisan divides, promote emotional well-being, joy and compassion, and envision positive change. 

Additional spring programming highlights include: the finale of UCSB Arts & Lectures’ 2020-2021 House Calls and Race to Justice series, featuring virtual events with Yo-Yo Ma, Bryan Stevenson and others; community book giveaways of Anne Lamott’s Dusk, Night, Dawn and Arthur C. Brooks’ Love Your Enemies; a return to the West Wind Drive-In for a free screening of We Are the Dream; and more. 

ABOUT UCSB ARTS & LECTURES

Founded in 1959, UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) is the largest and most influential arts and lectures organization between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A&L annually presents more than a hundred public events, from critically acclaimed concerts and dance performances by world-renowned artists to talks by groundbreaking authors and film series at UCSB and Santa Barbara-area venues. With a mission to “educate, entertain and inspire,” A&L also oversees an outreach program that brings visiting artists and speakers into local classrooms and other venues for master classes, open rehearsals, discussions and more, serving K-12 students, college students and the general public.  

Creating Hope with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama in Conversation with Pico Iyer is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures in association with the Department of Religious Studies at UC Santa Barbara.

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