(Published on July 7, 2015 by Garden Grove TV3)
Recognized as the most influential spiritual leader of Tibetans and other Buddhists worldwide, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama made an inaugural visit to Garden Grove on Sunday, to share his message of peace, understanding, responsibility, and compassion with the community. His Holiness spoke before a capacity crowd of over 1,100 attendees gathered for “A Celebration of Compassion” at the Garden Grove Hyatt Regency hotel.
“Our community was truly honored to host this very special visit by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, especially during such an important occasion as his 80th birthday. His Holiness not only imparted profound spirituality and wisdom, he shared his genuine love and appreciation for all people, through his words, his humor, and his deep humility. It was a most uniquely meaningful experience for everyone there,” says Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen.
At the event, the Garden Grove City Council presented His Holiness with a customized Key to the City, the City’s Proclamation proclaiming Garden Grove as a City of Compassion, and a video produced by the City’s GGTV3 Cable team.
The video included the recent planting of a Coast Live Oak tree in Civic Center Park, near Acacia Parkway, in honor of His Holiness’ 80th birthday. Mayor Nguyen and members of the Garden Grove City Council participated in the planting, along with representatives from the Interfaith Council of Garden Grove, Stanton, and Westminster, and personnel from the Garden Grove Police and Fire Departments. The video is available on YouTube.
As part of the City’s presentations to His Holiness at the event, Mayor Bao Nguyen asked for His Holiness to bless a jar of soil to be added to the young tree. The Mayor also asked for His Holiness to sign a large, framed quote, to be put on display in Garden Grove City Hall. The quote by His Holiness reads, “Given human beings’ love of truth, justice, peace, and freedom, creating a better, more passionate world is a genuine possibility.”
The event was emceed by former NBC 4 News anchor Ann Curry. The program was also emceed by Reverend Kusala Bhikshu, an American born monk ordained in the Zen Tradition of Vietnam. A regular speaker and volunteer throughout Los Angeles County, he also serves as a member of the Interfaith Council of Garden Grove, Stanton, and Westminster, and formerly served as the first Buddhist Chaplain for the Garden Grove Police Department.
The free event was presented in collaboration with The Venerable Lama Tenzin Dhonden, the personal emissary for peace to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and the Friends of the Dalai Lama, an independent, non-profit organization, founded to amplify the positive messages of His Holiness.
The City wishes to thank its sponsors, the Garden Grove Tourism Promotion Corporation; the Garden Grove Community Foundation; Republic Services; the Hyatt Regency hotel; and the Nguyen Family Foundation.
For more Celebration of Compassion photos, visit Garden Grove City Hall on Facebook and Instagram.
View the Vietnamese translation.