PORTLAND -- The Dalai Lama held an interfaith dialogue and gave a speech to students at the University of Portland Thursday, as part of a three-day environmental summit.
Wearing a purple UP visor, he took the podium just before 10 a.m. to give a short speech before speaking with other Portland spiritual leaders.
"There are many different religions," the Dalai Lama explained, "but all share the principles of love, compassion, and forgiveness."
"Religions can also teach hypocrisy," he added. "When we say one thing in church, synagogue or mosque, but we do something else. So religious faith is an individual choice. But if you accept religion, do it seriously.
The theme of the dialogue was the environment and spirituality, and how they are connected. The dialogue also included University of Portland President Rev. E. William Beauchamp, Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana of Congregation Beth Israel of Portland, Imam Muhammed Najieb of the Muslim Community Center of Portland, and Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz.
"We have to take seriously our human impact on natural cycles, because of our children," the Dalai Lama said. "We have a responsibility: our activities affect our natural resources. It is like taking care of our home or our room. This planet is our only home."
The interfaith dialogue was moderated by KGW Anchor Laural Porter. After a lunch break, the Dalai Lama returned to give a speech.
During the afternoon speech, just days ahead of Mother’s Day, he had some moving thoughts about the power of a mother’s love.
“Those people who received maximum affection from one’s own mother,” he said, “I think those people, deep inside, have less fear, less distrust.”
He later answered students’ questions and told them that if they had the right motivation in their hearts—to help others and make the world a better place—they will do very well in life.
Complete Coverage: 14th Dalai Lama visits Portland