Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s Address to the Wisconsin State Legislature

By Rebecca Kemble and Leslie Amsterdam
Posted May 20, 2013, on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative
Reprinted in part with permission

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama addresses a joint session of the Wisconsin State Legislature on May 14, 2013. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)

The following is a transcript of the speech given by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to a joint session of the Wisconsin State Legislature on May 14, 2013. Click here for a link to the video:

According to my own experience to stand a little bit longer sometimes uncomfortable. So, better to sit and listen!

Thank you very much. Firstly, you welcome me and secondly, you introduce me. I think about those 10 subjects for study. 5 major, 5 minor. Those 5 minor I never study (laughs). Of course, Buddhist philosophy and logic, that I really study. Then medicine, not study, but I know something about the developmental system. Because I always take the Tibetan medical system. Through my own experience, the Tibetan medical system is quite useful, quite helpful. Sanskrit -- I think grammar I studied a little bit.

Delivering his address in English, with occasional prompting from his translator (left), the Dalai Lama and his translator both laugh heartily with the audience at one of His Holiness's humorous comments. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)

So now respected brothers and sisters, I’m deeply honored to speak to the people who really choose by your own people. They really choose you. People have full trust to you and put hope on your shoulders so you are truly representative of the people. So I’m deeply honored.

The Dalai Lama greets Wisconsin State Senator Mary Lazich. Behind him is Wisconsin Rep. Jeffery Stone. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)

And then, there’s also a clear sign of your system, democratic system. America, I think greatest democratic country and actually leading nation of free world. So sometimes I heard the American economy a little bit, sort of, go down. Then I really feel, if America really go down, then free world lose effective leading nation. So in spite of some drawbacks or mistakes, your government, America, is truly a democratic country and ruled by law and freedom of expression. These are, I think, really wonderful things.

In the State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin State Senator Bob Jauch displays a Tibetan khata, a white silk scarf presented to the legislators on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's May 14, 2013, visit. The khata symbolizes purity and compassion. (Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble. Reprinted with permission.)

So now this is the State Assembly, so great honor to speak to you. And then, I myself one, I think, promoter of democracy since my childhood. I often heard that some kind of bully from the power by regent and also some high officials. So since an early age, I see power in a few people’s hands is always dangerous. So then, greatly, I learned another political system that’s a democratic, elected democratic system, and power divided between judiciary, legislative and executive. I think this is really, very sound basis, so I admire your system.... 

Click here to read the rest of the transcript of the Dalai Lama's address and to see more photos.

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