Dalai Lama brings tears and laughter to Brisbane crowd

The Dalai Lama greets a well-wisher in Brisbane

On the final leg of his Queensland visit, the Dalai Lama spoke to a crowd of thousands about happiness, compassion and overcoming adversity.

More than 5000 people gathered at Brisbane’s Riverstage, waiting eagerly in the hot sun to hear the thoughts of the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Greeted with a standing ovation, the Dalai Lama had everybody at ease when he stood before the crowd with his sun visor and sunglasses, joking of having a burnt head from the Queensland sun.

Retreating to the couch he was joined by ABC local radio’s Richard Fidler, who hosted the event, together with Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale.

Holding the hands of both men he turned to the crowd and announced that they were “now three brothers”.

“Whenever I meet people, we are genuine brothers and sisters. At a human level, physically, mentally and emotionally, we are the same” he said.

The talk became more meaningful as he spoke of honesty and sincerity in our everyday lives.

Speaking to the youth in the audience, he told of an encounter he had with the Queen Mother and her thoughts on the changes in the world.

“When I asked her whether the world is getting better, worse or has stayed the same, without hesitation she said better.”

“She thought that the world had a better concept of human rights and the concept of self-determination.”

He highlighted the importance of communication and spoke of how the 20th century was one of bloodshed and one of violence. “The 21st century should be one of peace.”

“Make a more peaceful world, a more compassionate world- the responsibility is on your shoulders,” he said to the applause from the audience.

To conclude the talk and much to the delight of the audience, His Holiness happily answered their questions and offered his guidance.

Megan Turner of Ipswich choked back tears as she told the Dalai Lama about her struggle after surviving nine brain operations.

The Dalai Lama comforts Megan Turner after inviting her on stage

She spoke of her loneliness, poor memory, language difficulties and her deep admiration for him.

Rising from the couch he invited Mrs Turner on stage and gave her a warm hug, reminding her that she was not alone.

Members of the crowd openly wept and were moved by the gesture, prompting more deep emotional questions.

One mother spoke of her son who was off to fight in the war and another spoke of her fear of dying and leaving her disabled child behind.

“If there is a way to overcome it, then no need to worry. If there is no way to overcome it, then there is no need to worry,” the Dalai Lama said as he reminded the women there were plenty of organisations willing to help.

As he concluded, he chuckled and told the audience that he could not take their problems with him, but instead reminded them that there is always help available.

The Dalai Lama’s next stop is Perth on Sunday.

3 Responses to “Dalai Lama brings tears and laughter to Brisbane crowd”
  1. Megan Turner says:

    Hi Alana,

    I’m not sure if you are aware, but, the photo in this article is not infact me, Megan Turner (as the picture states), but of some other lady who received a token hug from the Dalai Lama for a different reason, as shown on another web article which I also saw when I was looking for my photo.

    She hasn’t had 9 brain operations!!

    I can’t seem to find any photos anywhere (yet) of the Dalai Lama giving me a hug. As you would recall if you were there, I broke down in tears as I asked my question and many photographers took the opportunity to grab my picture in the moment. I can only assume, that my picture wasn’t noteworthy given I tilted my head in order to gain a small amount of dignity as I badly needed a tissue. A lady who was seated behind me in the audience was kind spirited enough to offer me a handkerchief for which I am extremely grateful for.

    I also saw this ladies picture as I was looking through the Dalai Lama material while I was looking for the photo of me giving the Dalai Lama a hug. I can’t seem to find any photos of the Dalai Lama giving me a hug – despite the many cameras that caught me crying. Your article is certainly a contender for Media Watch on Channel 2 for getting the picture wrong though. :)

    If you are one of the few reporters who asked me a couple of details, I am the lady who you spoke with as I answered your questions and who assumably that section of the ariticle is referring to, with my 9 brain operations. I also have a science degree amongst other things and as my question to the Dalai Lama stated on the day, I don’t seem to be able to ‘touch-base with society?’ – which is very true –

    I can certainly give you a fuller picture of the story if you are wanting it, however if I do so here, then I will be sacrificing a nights sleep as I further edit this for readability as I take a while to organise what I have written due to memory and concentration issues from brain injury. Instead I have cut and pasted most of what I have written into a word document for future referral should you be interested in hearing more to the story.

    If you are interested in following- up, I can certainly give you more information. There is more to an acquired brain injury than what initially meets the eye as anyone in the know will tell you.

    I have been looking for a photo of the Dalai Lama hugging me from the Riverstage event in Brisbane on the 17th June 2011 to which you refer to, which I haven’t been able to find to this point despite all my Google searches. I simply don’t know where any of the reporters or professional photographers who interviewed me or took photos on that day, work or came from as no-one actually left a business card with me or wrote their details down for me.

    Ironically that is what the Dalai Lama was referring to when he answered my question. He mentioned that our society should look out for people who are less able. I would love to get a photo of me with the Dalai Lama either while I was asking my question or when I was with the Dalai Lama on stage if you did get one given I can’t find any despite all the cameras catching me crying. I have an acquired brain injury. The effects from my acquired brain injury include memory, concentration, emotional and organisational issues. My ability to keep up with a situation when I am overwhelmed dimishes greatly as you would have noticed on that day as I was asking the Dalai Lama my personally emotional question.

    I would dearly love a photo of the occasion as it was a very special occurance for me. Due to being overwhelmed on the day with so much happening, I found myself in a tide of emotion as you would have noticed and unfortunately didn’t get the details of any reporters on paper so I could enjoy the articles later. I didn’t attend the event with anyone else so no-one I know has photos of me on stage with the Dalai Lama.

    Bleh, I need sleep as I fear I am repeating myself on this small screen. Please feel free to contact me on the contact number above if you would like a more accurate picture and any extra information on the story,

    Megan Turner

  2. Megan Turner says:

    p.s. Thank you, your article is very touching. I found your comments to be pretty accurate even though the photo is inaccurate.
    – Regards MT-

  3. MT says:

    Thanking you kindly. Just for the records, the photo is accurate now. :)

    Meeting the Dalai Lama has been one of the few things that has inspired me as strongly as it has over my life.

    Bless you,

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