Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama offered assurances over his health over the weekend, telling thousands of Tibetans living in the U.S. that his treatment in a Minnesota clinic for a prostate condition is going well and that he is getting plenty of rest.
Speaking on Sunday to a crowd of almost 3,000 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Dalai Lama, 80, said that he had entered the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, last month for what he called “prolonged treatment” for his prostate.
“Now, it has been about a month since my treatment began here at Mayo Clinic, and the treatment is very easy,” the Dalai Lama said.
“Most of the time, I just eat, sleep, and rest. I do my regular prayers for four hours in the morning and one hour in the evening, and in between I read my Buddhist texts and have a good time,” he said.
Noting that Tibetans in many places around the world had conducted prayers for his speedy recovery, the Dalai Lama said that Tibetans living in Tibet had sometimes “faced problems” at the hands of authorities when they gathered to pray after learning of his condition.
“I want to thank everyone,” he said.
'Tibetan spirit is strong'
Recognized around the world as the face of Tibet’s struggle for greater freedom under Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama is deeply revered by Tibetans both in exile and living in Tibetan regions of China, where public prayers on his behalf or the display of his photograph frequently draw harsh punishment.
Speaking in both English and Tibetan, the Dalai Lama thanked those present at his talk for their efforts to preserve Tibetan values and traditions over the almost 60 years since China invaded and occupied the self-governing Himalayan region.
“The Tibetan spirit is strong, and we’ve kept our culture and religious traditions alive,” the Dalai Lama said, according to a Feb. 21 report by the India-based Tibetan exile government, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
“[This] is important because they have a contribution to make to the world at large,” he said.
“That’s something to be proud of.”
After cancelling several U.S. events in October on the advice of his doctors, the Dalai Lama now appears to be in good health, Tsewang Chokden, the media coordinator for the Tibetan-American Foundation of Minnesota said, quoted by CTA.
“It’s an extremely joyous situation,” Chokden said, adding, “After having been through this treatment, everyone was interested in his health and well-being.”
“After seeing him here looking vibrant and healthy, we are all very excited today.”
Reported by Dolkar for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.