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Move over Maharishi, here comes the Dalai Lama

by Judi Mcleod

April 19, 2004

Dithering now behind him, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin will accept the official state visit of the Dalai Lama to parliament.

The charismatic Tibetan Leader-in-Exile will be in Ottawa April 21-24 and will be introduced at the Toronto Skydome by Justin Trudeau, son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, on April 25.

Martin’s decision to lay out the red carpet for the world’s renowned "modest monk" was likely influenced by his longtime mentor, special UN advisor and Kyoto architect Maurice Strong. As his advisor, Strong would have more sway over Martin than the temptation to indulge in a short-lived political slap in the face to predecessor, ex-Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who, because of his fear of China, snubbed the Dalai Lama during a long political career.

New Ager Strong, whose wife, Hanna, runs a 200,000-acre "spiritual retreat" in Crestone, Colorado, has the kind of ties that bind with the Dalai Lama.

In 1992, Strong was the Secretary General of the historic Earth Summit, while his wife was involved in the NGO alternative meeting at the Summit called Global Forum `92. The Dalai Lama opened the meeting, and according to author Gary Kah was there "to ensure the success of the forum."

Like Strong, Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, is no slacker in the world of peace and the environment. The scholar, who draws throngs of 100,000 and more on global jaunts, captured the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

A fully-fledged member of SUN (Spiritual United Nations) he held a spiritual UN gathering and gave a week of teachings at the UN in April of 1997.

The Dalai Lama gets around.

According to a Greenpeace newsletter, at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, the Dalai Lama visited the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior.

"Later, he wrote `It’s a small boat, a little untidy. But it’s a very powerful symbol and the spirit on board is impressive. I was very inspired by that feeling, and it made my spirit stronger too’," states

It’s easy to imagine how the Daili Lama has accrued a dedicated following among world environmentalists when he is on the pubic record for statements such as, "The Earth acts like a mother to all" and hails from a country whose people have revered plants and animals as their equals.

Hollywood has been downright ga ga about him ever since Richard Gere introduced him to the gang.

In August 1996, Harrison Ford, Sharon Stone, Steven Siegal, Shirley MacLean and others stood in lineups to shake hands with the Tibetan leader. And it wasn’t long before Barbra Streisand and Alec Baldwin were pressing President Bill Clinton to rebuke China for its human rights abuses in Tibet.

Think of the screen potential for Hollyood producers. The Tibet of old, is romanticized by the Dalai Lama’s brother, Thubten Jigme Norbu and others as an ecological paradise, where wild gazelles and "snow lions" eat from the monks’ hands. (Tibet Conference, Bonn, 1996).

The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, spiritual advisor to the Beatles and to a lesser degree, the Rolling Stones, got nothing on the Dalai Lama.

Both seem to be advocates of a "metapolitics" in which international events are influenced by symbolic actions.

The Maharishi may be building peace palaces to be inhabited by flying yogics worldwide, but the fall of the Berlin Wall has been ascribed to the Dalai Lama.

Purportedly, at the exact point where the first break in the wall was created (a scene televised all around the world) there stood graffiti reading, "Long Live Dalai Lama" offered as proof by devotees.

The Dalai Lama as a political magician who brought down the Berlin Wall with his prayers?

How safe can the Great Wall of China be now that Prime Minister Paul Martin is laying out the red carpet for the icon from Tibet?

Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on, Drudge Report,, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at:

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