JUNE 11 – 15, 2008 VISIT REPORT
This address to His Holiness was given at the end of the Teachings by Chairman of DLIA Ltd., Ian Green.
It has been a deep honour to host your 2008 visit to Australia.
We are pleased to provide the following report in relation to your 5 day visit.
Your aims for the 2008 visit were that the teachings be accessible to all Buddhist traditions and that they be as affordable as possible.
In all just over 6000 people from twelve countries in the Asia Pacific region attended the Stages of Meditation teachings.
And a similar number attended last night’s Public Talk “Finding Purpose in Life”.
Included amongst those who attended the teachings were 280 monks and nuns from the Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Tibetan lineages. The sangha were sponsored to attend the teachings and lunch was offered on 3 days.
Over 200 lay students and 200 Tibetans were also sponsored to attend the teachings.
To deepen the experience for those attending, an auxiliary program was organised. This included guided meditation, chanting, one-on-one question and answer sessions, as well as panel discussions. And your teachings were translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, Tibetan and sign language. Our sincere thanks to the sangha, teachers, senior students and translators from the various traditions who provided this valued service.
Between the teaching sessions your Holiness met with: 700 members of the Tibetan and Mongolian Communities; 300 members of the Chinese community; 150 school children; over 100 Community and political leaders; and 80 members of the Australian and Chinese Media.
The budgeted cost of running this visit was in excess of $1,300,000. As you are aware there were also some outstanding debts from the2007 tour. I am pleased to report that as of this morning our latest financial reports indicate that we will be able to cover both our outstanding debts and the costs of this tour. In short we expect to break even. A final set of accounts will be presented to YourHoliness after all the accounts have been audited.
Any financial report would not be complete without acknowledging the generosity of our underwriters, donors and the contribution of our 300 volunteers. Even the token amount that our committee was able to offer your Holiness – you returned to us as a contribution to your next tour.
We hope that our efforts in organising the 2008 visit have been pleasing to Your Holiness.
The Dalai Lama In Australia organising committee feel honoured to work with the Australian Tibet Information Office to host your visit in December 2009.