The Dalai Lama in the Netherlands

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, His Holiness the Dalai Lama travels the world over, giving Buddhist teachings, creating awareness of the Tibetan plight, and promoting world peace. His Holiness is often invited to meet with not only spiritual but also political world leaders, as well as the broader public. His Holiness has participated in dialogue with many religious leaders and well known scientists.

In 1973 the Dalai Lama visited the West for the first time including the Netherlands. Altogether, His Holiness has visited the Netherlands six times, the last time in 2009.
The following is a summary of some of the most important events during these visits:

The first visit was at the invitation of Stichting Hulp aan Tibetanen. His Holiness participated in a major interfaith meeting and met with Prince Bernhard, Cardinal Alfrink and Ir. Philips.

The Dalai Lama was invited to give Buddhist teachings and to give public talks. He met with Princes Juliana, Prince Bernard and Princess Irene.

His Holiness visited the Netherlands at the invitation of the Stichting Ontmoeting met de Tibetaanse Cultuur and the Stichting Art Meets Science and Spirituality in a Changing Economy. He participated in a gathering of managers of leading artists, scientists, religious thinkers and economists. His Holiness was also received by Minister of Foreign Affairs Van den Broek and members of the Dutch parliament.

The Roosevelt Stichting invited the Dalai Lama to receive the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award. His Holiness received this prestigious award from the hand of Princess Juliana. He was also received by Minister of Foreign Affairs Kooijmans, Vice Premier Kok, and members of the Dutch parliament.

The Stichting Bezoek Dalai Lama invited the His Holiness to give teachings and public talks. Again, His Holiness was received by Minister President Kok, Minister of Foreign Affairs Van Aartsen and spoke to the Dutch parliament at the invitation of parliament member Terpstra of the Tweede Kamer. His Holiness was the main guest at the conference 'Compassie of Competitie' ('Compassion or Competition') for Dutch entrepreneurs, at which Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and former Minister-President Lubbers were also present.

At the invitation of Stichting Bezoek Dalai Lama, His Holiness visited the Netherlands from June 3-6, giving Buddhist teachings and a public talk on 'The Power of Compassion in Turbulent Times'. At the Melkweg center in Amsterdam he opened the 'Night of Tibet'. On behalf of the Dutch government, Minister of Foreign Affairs Verhagen met with His Holiness, who was again received in the parliament.

The Dalai Lama was in The Netherlands on May 10-12. On Sunday May 11 His Holiness gave a Buddhist teaching followed by a public talk, both of which were held in a completely sold-out Ahoy. The subject of the morning’s Buddhist teaching was “The Three Stages of the Path’. The main theme of the public talk, entitled ‘Well-being, Wisdom and Compassion’, was compassion and the development of ethical awareness and behaviour in a secular world. On behalf of the Dutch Government, The Foreign Affairs Commission met with the Dalai Lama and His Holiness was also received by the Dutch House of Commons.