The Dalai Lama visited N Street Village, an occasion of immense honor for the women whom we serve. On October 19, His Holiness the Dalai Lama came to N Street Village to talk to our clients, staff, volunteers, and donors about the need for compassion in the world for the vulnerable. “N Street Village has been looking forward to this day for months, because we honor and respect you for your testament to freedom and your commitment to humanitarian causes,” Dr. Mary L. Funke, NSV’s Executive Director told the Dalai Lama.
For just over an hour, the Dalai Lama charmed over 150 residents and supporters of N Street Village. After greeting women in our courtyard, the Dalai Lama went to the Wellness Center to chat with residents participating in our meditation program taught by a Buddhist nun. Elaine Webber, one of N Street’s residents, informed the Dalai Lama that the program has helped her remain sober. In addition, the Dalai Lama talked with the Director of Programs, Schroeder Stribling to get an overview of our array of services to assist homeless and low-income women.
Proceeding to our Multipurpose Room, the Dalai Lama commented on a host of topics related to homelessness and poverty and said that he identified with our women, because he was homeless as well, having lost his freedom at the age of 16 and his country at 24. Stressing the universality of humankind, the Dalai Lama told the assemblée that only compassion and infinite love can bring internal peace. He emphasized that material wealth does not bring happiness, which elicited a nodding of heads from the first two rows, where our woman sat. The Dalai Lama, speaking directly to the women, called them “his gurus” in teaching others about the importance of what matters.
The event, which was co-sponsored by the Washington Humane Society (WHS), also featured the Dalai Lama interacting with adoptable homeless pets. In addition, the Dalai Lama heard from a formerly homeless woman who volunteers at the WHS animal shelter, testifying that caring for animals helped her to develop compassion for others.
The Dalai Lama was in Washington, D.C. to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank Group and Dalai Lama personal friend, accompanied the Dalai Lama to N Street Village, introducing him as an “ambassador of peace.” N Street Village was honored to be the only homeless shelter in the United States to receive His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his tour.
Watch a video of the Dalai Lama’s remarks.