Festival of Faiths to mark visit of the Dalai Lama

The Center for Interfaith Relations has announced a schedule of 2013 Festival of Faiths events intended to “prepare the community for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit” to the city, according to a news release from the center.

The theme of the Festival of Faiths events is “Sacred Silence: Pathway to Compassion,” and the event will be held May 14 through May 19 at Actors Theatre of Louisville and at the Galt House Hotel. The Dalai Lama will visit the city May 19-21.

According to the release, programming for the Festival of Faiths has been planned “to reflect its dedication to the historic meeting of the Dalai Lama and Thomas Merton in 1968. The festival will feature experts on meditation and compassion representing various global faith traditions. Programs will include daily guided public meditations, consideration of recent scientific research on compassion, keynote addresses, films and a dedication to Thomas Merton “in his own voice.”

Presenters will include molecular biologist, now Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard; ecumenical teacher Father Richard Rohr; Rabbi Arthur Green, an authority on Jewish thought and spirituality; Seyyed Hossein Nasr, an Islamic scholar; Arjia Rinpoche, director of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington, Ind., and others.

There will also be a “mini-retreat” on Tibetan Buddhism; presentations on how compassion is defined in Eastern and Western spiritual traditions; programming for middle school and high school students; and discussions about “sacred silence” from the perspective of various faith traditions.

The festival’s signature events will take place on May 18 when presenters will engage in an interfaith dialogue focused on the festival theme. Later that afternoon, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will host a discussion on compassionate governing.

On May 19, several Festival of Faiths presenters will join the Dalai Lama on stage during his public address at the KFC Yum! Center.

Tickets for the festival will be available in March through Actors Theatre of Louisville. For information, call 583-3100 or send an email to festivaloffaiths@interfaithrelations.org.

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