Lund, Sweden, 17 April 2011 (Anna Ljunggren) – On his last day of the three day visit to Sweden, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with 250 students in the City Hall of Lund. During the last year the students, from 60 schools in 50 cities around Sweden, have worked together with the organization IM-SOIR to raise money for school projects in the Himalayas.
His Holiness was interviewed by Mr Victor Åberg, a former IM-SOIR volunteer at a school in Kathmandu, Nepal, and the questions were based on things the students, aged 13-19 years, wanted to ask His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The students got to know how a “typical day at home in Dharamsala” looks like and what His Holiness´ favourite food is. When asked what His Holiness would do if he were “neither the Dalai Lama, nor a monk”, His Holiness answered “I would be a tractor driver”. The students were also told to remain sceptical and investigate and to think more of the mind than on material matters, since “kissing a diamond gives no response”. When asked what can be done about teachers beating students, His Holiness answered that “Someone else´s mind can only be controlled by reason and affection, not by beating. If you constantly show a person affection and concern, this person is more likely to change his behaviour”.
After the student meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama took part in the Sunday service in Lund Cathedral, to which he was welcomed by the bishop Ms Antje Jackelén and Mr Håkan E Wilhelmsson, dean of Lund Cathedral and chairman of the board of IM-SOIR. Inside the cathedral over 1.000 people waited to hear His Holiness speak.
“Peace and love, the essence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama´s message, is something that unites us, no matter what we believe in or where we live” said Ms Lena Sjöstrand, assistant vicar before welcoming His Holiness. The Sermon was held by the bishop Ms Antje Jackelén, who finished the sermon by saying “In this Holy Week, the passions flow together into compassion; compassion that gives birth to strength, love and happiness. The guest we are glad to have with us today, the Dalai Lama, has thought about compassion more than many of us”. She then invited His Holiness to greet the congregation with a message on compassion.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama stood up, in front of the altar and said: “Respected spiritual sisters and brothers, I feel a great honour to participate in this special sermon, since it promotes religious harmony”. He also told the congregation that the faith should not remain just in the church, where it would not have much effect, but be spread everywhere.
The final stop of the visit to Sweden was at the head office of the Swedish host IM-SOIR, where His Holiness took part in a short lunch with the IM-SOIR staff. Mr Bo Paulsson, General Secretary at IM-SOIR, thanked His Holiness for having come to Sweden. His Holiness responded by thanking IM-SOIR for all their work with and for the Tibetans and the Central Tibetan Administration. Before leaving, a picture was taken in the garden of His Holiness surrounded by the IM-SOIR staff.
At the conclusion of lunch, His Holiness the Dalai Lama departed from Lund to Copenhagen, via the road bridge connecting Sweden with Denmark.