"My religion is simple, my religion is kindness" -- Dalai Lama

"War is outdated." -- Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso visited Seattle in 1979 and held a special audience for the representatives of the Tibetan Refugee Aid Society [TRAS], the Vancouver-based organization started by his friends George and Ingeborg Woodcock after they met him in Dharamsala, India, in 1961.

His Holiness' first visit to Vancouver the following year was organized by T.C. Tethong of Victoria, the Dalai Lama's translator upon the Dalai Lama's arrival in Dharamsala, India, following his escape from Tibet in 1959 with the help of the CIA.

Having received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1989, His Holiness made his second visit to Vancouver in July of 1993, at which time he had a private meeting with the Woodcocks. He returned in April of 2004 to attend an international spiritual and learning conference at the University of British Columbia with fellow Nobel Prize winners Desmond Tutu of South Africa, the first black bishop of Johannesburg, and Shirin Ebadi, a voice of conscience in Iran for more than 25 years. He also received an honorary doctor of laws, honoris causa, from Simon Fraser University at Christ Church Cathedral.

For his fourth Vancouver visit in September of 2006, he planned to visit Ingeborg Woodcock, widow of George Woodcock, but she died several months earlier.

A fifth visit is scheduled for September of 2009, chiefly organized by Victor Chan of Bowen Island, author of an extensive traveller's guide to Tibet.

A monk who rises for prayer on a daily basis between four and five a.m., the Dalai Lama is also credit as being the author of numerous bestselling titles, some of which were written with the assistance of a ghost writer--others not. The major autobiographical works are My Land and My People (1962), Freedom in Exile (1991) and Ethics for the New Millennium (2001). The latter work was written by the Dalai Lama in Tibetan and translated into English.

[BCBW 2009] "Famous Visitor"