A full year of celebrations and worldwide commemorative events has been planned as part of a “Year of Gratitude” to mark the upcoming birthday of the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who turns 85 on 6 July.
From 1 July to 30 June 2021, according to the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the Tibetan government-in-exile, a series of virtual events will be organized for the Dalai Lama “in appreciation of all his outstanding contributions” that will “endeavor to share, promote, and celebrate the teachings and the lifework of His Holiness.” (Central Tibetan Administration)
“The Kashag [Cabinet] of the Central Tibetan Administration is all geared up to mark the 85th birthday celebration of His Holiness with a series of worldwide virtual events, musical tributes and a year-long campaign dedicated to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his glorious contributions to Tibetan people and worldwide,” the CTA said in a statement. (Central Tibetan Administration)
The main celebrations will be held on 6 July, when some 50 dignitaries are expected to assemble at the Tibetan parliament in Dharamsala in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, all while observing strict social-distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Tibetan communities across India will be able to attend ceremonies and festivities arranged for the occasion.
On 5 July, the Tibet Bureau Geneva will host the second chapter of a virtual interactive series on gratitude titled Thank You His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the landmark Social, Emotional and Ethical (SEE) Learning program developed by Emory University in collaboration with the Dalai Lama Trust and the Vana Foundation.* A live discussion will be held from 15:30–16:30 (CEST) and shared via the Tibet TV Facebook page, featuring guest speaker Lobsang Tenzin Negi, professor of pedagogy and executive director of the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics at Emory University.
The Tibet Bureau Geneva will host a monthly virtual interactive series dedicated to the Dalai Lama on the first Sunday of each month to discuss His Holiness’s contributions and highlighting his principal commitments to promote love and compassion, religious harmony, and the preservation of Tibetan culture and values.
The birthday of His Holiness will also be marked with the release of an album that combines music with Buddhist teachings. Some five years in development and production, the album, titled Inner World, will include 11 pieces of music featuring spiritual teachings and mantras spoken by the Dalai Lama.**
Among other events to mark the occasion, a new documentary, The Dalai Lama – Scientist, which had its world premiere at the 76th Venice International Film Festival in August last year,*** will be streamed online free of charge from 6–14 July. Featuring extensive rare and previously unseen footage, the feature-length film is being offered in recognition of His Holiness’ outstanding contributions to fostering dialogue and collaboration between Western science and Buddhist wisdom.
“As His Holiness turns 85, one cannot but marvel at his glorious achievements and the immeasurable contributions to the Tibetan community and the world alike,” said Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, the elected leader of the CTA. “His Holiness’ legacy will be written in golden words in the annals of Tibetan history. Such is the grand lifework and contribution to the preservation of Tibet’s cultural, religious, historical, and linguistic heritage, as well as to the promotion of non-violence, human rights, religious tolerance, environmental awareness, and democracy around the world.” (Central Tibetan Administration)
* Dalai Lama Presides Over Global Launch of Emory’s SEE Learning Program in New Delhi (Buddhistdoor Global)
** Dalai Lama to Release First Album in July, Offering Mantras and Teachings Set to Music (Buddhistdoor Global)
*** The Dalai Lama – Scientist to Premiere at 76th Venice International Film Festival (Buddhistdoor Global)
CTA gears up for 85th birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, dedicates him ‘Year of Gratitude’ (Central Tibetan Administration)
Virtual Interactive Gratitude Series Chapter 2: SEE Learning Program (Central Tibetan Administration)
Virtual Interactive Gratitude Series Chapter 2: SEE Learning Program (Tibet Bureau Geneva)
The Dalai Lama — Scientist (Vimeo)
TIBET TV (Facebook)