His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the political and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people will launch a high-profile visit to Washington, DC on November 8. His itinerary anticipates likely meetings with US President George Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and key Congressional leaders during a 10-day visit to the US capital. The Dalai Lama’s visit, in his 70th birthday year, comes at a key moment in the current Sino-Tibetan dialogue process on the country’s future status, representing an historic opportunity for the Tibetan people.

The Nobel Peace Laureate leader will give a public talk on November 13 at the MCI Center, Global Peace through Compassion, co-sponsored by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and the Mind and Life Institute. Mayor Anthony Williams said: ‘We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to share a moment with the Dalai Lama. He has been unrelenting in spreading his message of justice and peace to the people of our city, our country and the far reaches of the world. We are grateful to host this historic visit.’

The program for the MCI talk will include a celebration by hundreds of Himalayan, Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhists to mark the Dalai Lama’s 70th birthday. This gathering of Buddhists from all over Asia recognizes the living influence of the Tibetan Buddhist cultural heritage far beyond its birthplace in Tibet.

On 8-10 November, the Dalai Lama will attend a groundbreaking international conference which will present the religious leader in dialogue with leading scientists, physicians and psychologists on the role of meditative practices in medical treatment and healing. ‘Investigating the Mind 2005: the Science and Clinical Applications of Meditation’ at DAR Constitution Hall is co-sponsored by Georgetown University Medical Center, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Mind and Life Institute. This gathering coincides with the recent release of the Dalai Lama’s latest book, ‘The Universe in a Single Atom: the Convergence of Science and Spirituality’ (Morgan Road Books).

On 12 November the Dalai Lama will inaugurate an innovative lecture series at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians dedicated to understanding the brain and nervous system. Inspired by a life-long interest in science, the Dalai Lama will speak on ‘The Neuroscience of Meditation’ to the meeting which expects more than 30,000 attendees.

On November 15, the Dalai Lama will present the International Campaign for Tibet’s ‘Light of Truth’ awards for significant contribution to public understanding and human rights for the Tibetan people. The 2005 recipients are Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy; Elie Wiesel, world-renowned author, activist and fellow Nobel peace laureate, and Lowell Thomas, Jr., whose 1949 trip to Tibet produced scores of photographs, articles, radio programs and books that informed millions of Americans of Tibet’s plight. The awards will be presented by Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former permanent US representative to the UN, Paula Dobriansky, Under-Secretary of State for Global Affairs and Democracy, and former Indian cabinet member the Honorable George Fernandes.

The visit is co-hosted by the International Campaign for Tibet, whose new office building in DC is the first diplomatic and cultural center for Tibet in the nation’s capital, and the Mind and Life Institute.