Monday, May 24, 2010

The Fund raiser Luncheon with the Dalai Lama for the Tibetan Community Center

His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in New York, and I was so fortunate to be given an audience again at the hotel. I became very emotional this time because it had been quite a challenging six months preparing for a fund raiser luncheon for the Tibetan Community Center which the Office of Tibet had requested me to help organize. So, to me, meeting him was such a special reward. 

The special luncheon was held at Le Bernardin, one of the best restaurants in America. The celebrity chef owner Eric Ripert (photo) was so generous to host the entire luncheon. When I first asked him if he could collaborate with me to organize the luncheon he said to me, "Don't worry, I will take care of it." I was thrilled and it was such a great start! My friend, Champa (photo) and I worked so hard for 6 months to prepare for this big event. His Holiness totally supported this event and told us that it was so important to do this. There were some difficult moments, but his support inspired us to endure.

Right after his teaching at the Radio City Music Hall the Dalai Lama arrived at the restaurant. 125 guests were already seated and patiently waiting for him. He gave a long and inspiring speech pointing out how important it is to maintain the Tibetan culture and language. It is vital to the preservation of the Tibetan identity to build the Tibetan Community Center where Tibetans can gather and maintain their unique culture and at which the Tibetan children can study their own language.

坂本龍一さんも素適な奥様と共に来てくださいました。Renowned music composer, Ryuichi Sakamoto (The Last Emperor, Sheltering Sky, etc.) and his wife joined us, too.

And, Chuck Close. It was such a pleasure to meet those wonderful creative artists who support the Tibet cause! Then, after some Q & A the Dalai Lama had to go back to the teaching. As he was leaving the restaurant we all lined up to greet him. I made sure that all the hard working backstage staff had a chance to meet him, too.

I encouraged my Tibetan friend who had made the video presentation to come forward so that he could greet His Holiness. He shyly did so, and as His Holiness saw him he came up to my friend and shook his hands!

Then His Holiness looked at me and said to me in Tibetan,

"You are the artist who draws beautiful drawings!"

What a gift that was. Thank you, His Holiness. We will build a center for 7,000 Tibetans in New York!




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