Tibetan diplomat-monk in Grass Valley visit | TheUnion.com

Tibetan diplomat-monk in Grass Valley visit

Geshe Thupten Phelgye, who is exploring the possibility of a visit by the Dalai Lama to Sacramento around 2010, is visiting Grass Valley on Saturday.

Phelgye, a member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, joined Dalai Lama’s delegation in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday when Dalai Lama received the Congressional Gold Medal from President Bush.

The highlight of Phelgye’s one-day trip to Grass Valley will be a talk from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s Cultural Center on “Cultivating the altruistic heart and its practical application in everyday life.”

“Geshe means scholar,” said Joseph Guida, founder of Sierra Friends of Tibet, a local organization. “Geshe Thupten Phelgye studied for 15 to 20 years and took part in a lot of examinations to get the Geshe title. So he’s a teacher, permitted to teach in the Buddhist tradition.”

This is Phelgye’s third visit to the area, said Nancy Clemens, a member of Sierra Friends of Tibet, who is hosting him.

“Geshe is a very interesting man because he is a monk but he’s also a diplomat and a politician,” Guida said. “He promotes vegetarianism and sees it as a big part of spiritual life.”

Over the years, Phelgye has traveled around the world, advocating vegetarianism and universal compassion. He has spoken at universities such as Harvard, Wheaton College, Naropa University, University of San Francisco and University of California in Santa Barbara.


To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.

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