© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Dalai Lama Leads Interfaith Prayer Service

By Joyce Kryszak


Buffalo, NY – About 6,000 people from various religions across the region came to pray and meditate Monday with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The giant, vacuous arena was transformed into a place of solemn thoughts and quiet reflection. Music and dance set the stage for the remarks by both religious leaders and later His Holiness. Students danced around the circling upper walkway, fluttering brilliant colored scarves around them. The Dalai Lama says he has attended services all over the world. But he says not always with the artistic beauty that he witnessed Monday.

The interpretive movements echoed the readings from several religious texts. The wisdom teachings came from traditions and religions as diverse as Muslim and Jewish, Christian and Hindu. But they all carried the same theme -- peace.

In his remarks, the Dalai Lama continued the message of peace. The principals of Buddhism were evident as he talked about finding balance and harmony among the different traditions.

The Dalai Lama says he himself has benefited from what he has learned from other traditions. He says too often different religions cause divisions and violence around the world. He encouraged people to exchange ideas and understand the inner value of one another's beliefs. One of the readers was Hassan Shibley with the UB Muslim Student Association. Shibley says the Dalai Lama is a true messenger of peace for all religions.

The Dalai Lama also reminded people of another tenant for most religions -- that material possessions and advancements do not bring happiness. He talked about the injustice and imbalance and injustice of wealth around the world. UB Professor Jeanette Ludwig is a co-chair for the event and a practicing Buddhist. Ludwig says economic justice should be important to every religion.

The Dalai Lama also talked about the need for putting all these beliefs into every day practice. As a gesture toward respecting one important Buddhist practice, the entire audience of 6,000 people sat for three minutes in silent meditation.

As a symbol of those new bonds, the reflective service drew to a close with a ceremony of Keepsake strings. Each person in attendance tied a string to another person's wrist as a gesture of good faith.

The Dalai Lama will create more ties with the Buffalo Community Tuesday. His lecture at 3:00 in the UB Stadium is expected to be heard by as many as 30,000 people. It will be broadcast live on WBFO.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Joyce Kryszak's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.