The Dalai Lama first stopped in this Mystic River community of just under 60,000 residents during a 2003 visit.
Then as now, the focus of his visit will be the Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, a cultural institution that provides the Boston region with classes such as Buddhism 101 and Dharma in Daily Life along with a temple, bookstore and library.
The Tues., Oct. 16, event comes with much fanfare for the community, with many in Medford fondly recalling the visit nearly 10 years ago.
Mayor Michael McGlynn told the Boston Globe that the Dalai Lama won over Medford during that visit by making a point of reaching out to residents – even gracing a few ladies with a kiss on the hand.
“People were stunned that not only the Dalai Lama was here in Medford, but he jumped out of the car to say to all the neighbors, ‘How ya doin’!'” McGlynn told the Globe.
In 2003, it was Kurukulla clergy member Geshe Tsulga who successfully managed to welcome the Dalai Lama to the center. During that visit, Tsulga implored the Tibetan leader to come back. Tsulga, who fled Tibet shortly after the Dalai Lama in 1959, passed away in November 2010.
To the members of the Kurukulla community, this visit is a fulfillment of one Tsulga’s last wishes.
“We are beyond delighted that His Holiness the Dalai Lama will again be visiting Kurukulla Center and thereby fulfilling one of Geshe Tsulga’s dying wishes,” says Kurukulla monk Geshe Tenley. “We believe this visit will bring blessings to everyone: neighbors, Boston, the people of Massachusetts, and all people.”
While the main event – a speech the Dalai Lama will deliver to some 1,800 people in an outdoor tent at the center – is fully booked, local sponsor Madeinmedford.com is helping to reach a much broader audience.
Besides setting up a nearby screen where residents can watch the speech, Madeinmedford.com will be broadcasting the Dalai Lama’s remarks live through their website.