His Holiness the Dalai Lama on a 9-day visit to Austria in Carinthia, Salzburg and Vienna

His Holiness' first function in Austria was the blessing of Tibet Center's new building in Knappenberg together with governor Gerhard Dörfler
Presentation of diploma certificates to the first generation of graduates of Tibet Center's study courses - in Indo-Tibetan science ...
.... and Traditional Tibetan Medicine
Inter-religious dialog in Salzburg
... and a meeting with religious representatives in Carinthia
Giving some advice to Tibet Center's advisory board
Lecture in Vienna Stadthalle with an audience of nearly 10.000
His Holiness the Dalai Lama at a symposium on Buddhism and Science together with quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger
Encounters with Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann...
... vice-chancellor Michael Spindelegger...
... and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

Hosted and organized by Tibet Center Hüttenberg, His Holiness stayed 9 days in Austria and was officially invited by the region of Carinthia. Such a long visit to one single country is a special feature on the international agenda of the Dalai Lama and highlights the connection of Tibet’s spiritual leader to Austria and Carinthia. Moreover, it particularly stresses the relation to Tibet Center Hüttenberg which is under his patronage.

May 17 – Blessing of the Tibet Center building in Knappenberg, speech in Hüttenberg
The trip to Knappenberg was the first item on the agenda after his arrival on May 17 at the airport in Klagenfurt. After a talk with Governor Gerhard Dörfler, His Holiness blessed the building of Tibet Center which is currently under construction. Afterwards His Holiness addressed the residents of the municipality of Hüttenberg, where the Tibetan education institute is located. Read more >>

May 19 – awarding of the graduation certificates to the first graduates of the diploma courses
In the course of the 2-day Buddhist teachings, the diploma certificates were solemnly awarded to the “first generation” of graduates of the diploma courses of Tibet Center. More than 100 persons had been studying “Buddhist philosophy, religion and science of mind” and “Traditional Tibetan medicine” throughout several semesters and around 80 people successfully completed their studies and exams. During the diploma awarding ceremony, His Holiness the Dalai Lama emphasized Tibet Center’s important role to preserve and impart precious Tibetan knowledge. Read more >>

May 21 – inter-religious dialogue and meeting of Tibet Center’s advisory board in Salzburg
Despite the very tight program, His Holiness was always relaxed and good humored. The primary aim that His Holiness advocates throughout the world is the promotion of human values such as warm-heartedness, love, compassion and tolerance. He therefore promotes secular ethics beyond religion for all human beings, even for non-believers. A second important commitment is the promotion of harmony among world religions. Also the inter-religious dialogue on the afternoon of May 21 in the Salzburgarena with representatives of the most important religious communities in Austria, especially Arch-bishop Dr. Alois Kothgasser from Salzburg, was characterized by this sense of harmony. On the day before, in the City of Klagenfurt, His Holiness had met several heads of religious groups in Carinthia, among them Catholic bishop Dr. Alois Schwarz. Read more >>

The advisory board of Tibet Center has an important function since one of their aims is to raise the international level of awareness and to strengthen the basis of this young institute which was founded by H.H. Dalai Lama. When meeting the members of the advisory board, His Holiness highlighted Tibet Center’s further tasks: In addition to its role as education institute, Tibet Center also needs to be active in the field of research and science. Read more >>

May 25 – “Beyond religion” – lecture on secular ethics in Vienna
At a press conference H.H. the Dalai Lama stated his core message: “The 21st century must become the century of peace and dialogue.” Europeans need to spread their concept of community in the world. “If we consider our world as we, there is no basis for wars.” Problems can only be solved by way of dialogue. Universal responsibility is based on the view to regard others as equivalent regarding their desire for happiness. “I am convinced that an open attitude and concern for others leads to a better world”, said the Nobel peace laureate. Through applying secular ethics, a happier and more peaceful world can develop.

May 26 – Symposium on Buddhism and Science at the University of Vienna
For 40 years His Holiness has been conducting regular dialogues with Western scientists, especially with experts in the fields of neurosciences and physics. The purpose of these dialogues is, firstly, to extend human knowledge, not only in the material field, such as the human consciousness, but also the inner space of our minds, and, secondly, through exploring such phenomena as a calm mind, to promote human happiness. Read more >>
 
Important encounters and great moments
In the course of those nine days there were numerous encounters between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and political and religious dignitaries, such as the Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn who was spontaneously accompanied by the Dalai Lama on occasion of the Pentecost mass at the St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The Austrian vice-chancellor and minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Michael Spindelegger, visited the almost sold-out Wiener Stadthalle in order to welcome His Holiness. The Carinthian Governor Gerhard Dörfler awarded His Holiness the Gold Medal of the region of Carinthia. Read more >>

His Holiness’ visit to Austria was hosted by Tibet Center – Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Hüttenberg, Carinthia. This institute was founded by His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the aim to contribute to the promotion of human values, secular ethics, tolerance and compassion. At Tibet Center, Tibetan culture and sciences are transmitted in an authentic yet modern way. Tibet Center – I.I.H.T.S. is the only western institution where – in close cooperation with the University of Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, Varanasi, India, and the Medical and Astrological Institute Men-Tsee-Khang of H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India – the five traditional Tibetan fields of knowledge (rigne) are conveyed. So far over 3300 participants from many nations profited from the comprehensive education program. The blessing of the new Tibet Center which is currently under construction in Knappenberg as well as the certificate awarding to the first 80 graduates of the diploma courses of Tibet Center, were of special concern to His Holiness who is the patron of Tibet Center. Further information: www.tibetcenter.at

Facts & Figures
Around 30.000 visitors participated in the events in Klagenfurt, Salzburg and Vienna, and another 15.000 viewed the public talks and other events with His Holiness online via live-stream. This shows the great interest and acceptance H.H. the Dalai Lama enjoys in Austria. More than 200 volunteers supported the organization-team of five. The returns will be used mainly for covering the costs; any surplus will be applied for humanitarian causes. The media took great interest in His Holiness’ visit. More than 330 accredited journalists from 17 nations – among them media representatives from USA, India, UK, France and Scandinavia – reported about the events with His Holiness in Austria.

Photos: Tibet Center / Tenzin Choejor

We thank all individuals and institutions who made this visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Austria an unforgettable experience!

The best pictures of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit to Austria