WATCH: The 14th Dalai Lama paid a very rare visit to a Vancouver school today. Elaine Yong has the details.
The Dalai Lama stopped by John Oliver Secondary in Vancouver Tuesday morning, ahead of his Heart-Mind Summit at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The summit is meant to encourage British Columbians to balance education of the heart and the mind.
The invitation-only youth dialogue with students at John Oliver Secondary is one of three events on the Dalai Lama’s schedule this week in Vancouver.
While there were 1400 students, teachers and parents in the audience, five students from around the province got a rare opportunity for a one-on-one question.
Students shared their personal experiences with heart-mind learning, and the Dalai Lama spoke with them about the importance of patience, putting humanity first and emphasizing the similarities between people.
But not everybody was charmed by the spiritual leader. The Dalai Lama was met by a group of protesters bearing signs saying, “False Dalai Lama give religious freedom.”
The protesters say they want the Dalai Lama to reverse the ban on the worship of Dorje Shugden alleged to be practiced by over four million people worldwide.
Darren Prout, spokesman for the International Shugden Community, says the Dalai Lama has created a prosecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners.
“We are asking him to lift the ban and give religious freedom, which is what he teaches.”
Prout says they are hoping to create awareness and put pressure on the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama will also speak at UBC on Thursday, delivering a teaching on compassion. Proceeds from the UBC event go towards a program helping to settle 1,000 displaced Tibetans in Canada.