Hello, Dalai: His Holiness rocks Downtown

The Dalai Lama cracks up the crowd.

The line started before 9am. For the Dalai Lama's morning talk at the Paramount Theater, it stretched all the way down past York Place on the Downtown Mall. In front of the theater, a dozen city police officers and a State Department detail milled about while local Tibetans in colorful, formal dress beamed with anticipation. Earlier, the Dalai Lama's motorcade, which included seven black State Department SUVs and at least 20 police vehicles and motorcycles, raced up Market Street to bring the world famous spiritual leader to the theater. A few lucky local Tibetan community members were able to greet His Holiness as he entered the back of the theater.

UVA Nursing School Dean Dorrie Fontaine opened a discussion about mindfulness in medical practice. The Dalai Lama, wearing a red visor, and sitting cross-legged in front of an elaborate bouquet of flowers, mentioned a specific breathing technique to reduce stress, holding one nostril closed and breathing steadily through the other.

"If that doesn't work," said His Holiness, "then f**k it." The crowd erupted in laughter.

Did he really say that?

"He sure did," said Hook contributor Janis Jaquith, who attended the Paramount talk, "I Facebooked it right away."

Others, like Councilor Dave Norris, believe he said "forget it."

"No way," insisted Jaquith.

A recorded video of the event certainly suggests that His Holiness cursed (listen to the audio above), something the audience and panel reaction seems to confirm. But according to Steven Weinberger, an instructor in Tibetan language at UVA, that was not what the Dalai Lama was saying.

"I have heard him say this at least four times since 1998, and every time people in the crowd think he said “f**k it”, but he is saying “forget” in his clipped English," he says. "In Tibetan in this context you just say the verb without any direct object.

"In the 26 years since I first saw him in person, I have never heard him utter a swear word or say anything vulgar," Weinberger added.

Later, the Dalai Lama became more serious, addressing the question of our mortality.

"We all have some grasping of permanence," he said.

But it is impermanence we must embrace.

"The last moment of life is very important," he said, "at that moment, it is important to be positive…then that will affect the next life."

After the Paramount talk, local and visiting Tibetans lined up in front of the theater for a short, private audience with the Dalai Lama before he headed to the Pavilion.

"I feel very happy," the Dalai Lama later told the crowd at the Pavilion, before talking at length about the importance of committing to the practice of love and compassion.

"Genuine peace must come through inner peace," he said, "and inner peace must come from the practice of love and compassion."

He also talked a lot about the importance of one's "mental state" in promoting health and inner peace.

"Mental state is a very important matter," he said, appealing to the young people in the audience. "As you start the Twenty-First century, think properly, and make the proper effect..."

"So, that's my talk, now questions," he said.

How do you find the energy to travel so much?

"Good sleep!" he said, admitting that he goes to bed around 7pm.

Is there hope for us human beings?

"There are hopeful signs," he said. "Many, many people in the world desire peace, and thinking on war has changed. These are positive developments in human thinking. We are becoming more mature."


please fellow tibetian supporters vote with me on november the 8th

The Mall has never looked so colorful, beautiful and filled with smiling faces .
Oh Happy Day !

He said FORGET IT! Not F**k it!

You silly!

He said FORGET IT!

You silly!

My uncle has a llama, he named her Dolly.

Nice quiet night on the comments board.

What does this comment have to do with the visit of the Dalai Lama.

@ city girl Maybe the concept of compromise? Republicans have been saying 'no' for 4 yrs now, trying to asphyxiate any policy this administration has proposed. They seem to revel in painting the grimmest picture of the country they possibly can.
It is time for the electorate to punish this kind of behavior. No matter what, I like the previous commenter's last sentence.

"Forget it" or.....?

You be the judge:


Happens at time: 42.30

@Margo...Got leader? You say the last four years, the incumbent had both the senate and congress to get things done for the first two years. Remember his "bipartisan" comment to John McCain a few months after the election: In front of reporters, at a roundtable of senators and congresspersons, he flippantly stated: "Well, John, you do remember that we won the election." And now you complain because this community-organizer could not organize his majority for the first two years?

Re: the Dalai Lama, I assume he misses "Jeopardy" if he is in the sack by 7:00pm? Where does he get his wisdom then?

Finally, only in a "hipper than thou," self-important little village like Charlottesville would the media make a juvenile issue out of a religious world leader even coming close to uttering the "f" word in public. Mr. McNair, the fact that you had to replace letters with asterisks should have stopped you right there. Why not actually write it if it was a quote? If the Dalai Lama could say it in front of 4,000 people, then you can certainly print it in the same community; believe me, it will meet the standards set forth concerning obscenity and meeting community standards. And Jaquith...think about what you did. Right out of Beavis and Butthead: "I thought he said the f-word so I Facebooked it right away." Grow up.

R.I.P.: Lenny Bruce

During his holiness's visit years ago, his limousine arrived several hours "late" at Boar's Head ... the Dalai whisked in through the lobby and into the elevator without hardly stopping, bowed as the door closed and then -- bowed to all of us again when the door re-opened about 40 seconds later. The elevator had gone down to the basement instead of up to the floor on which he was staying. At breakfast the next morning, one of the monks in his entourage remarked that "Grits are like tsampa."

No he did not say "f**k it". He said "forget". There was no "it" after the forget, making it sound like f**k it. He said, "You carry some experiment. If you, you see, find some value, then carry more. If you find not much then forget."

those that insist that he didn't use a common epithet (when the audio clearly shows that he did enunciate the hard 'k' sound after the soft 'phu' syllable) seem to be missing the point of the message, but instead bowing at the feet of a graven image. It's not surprising in the least to find Dave Norris square in the middle of this group.

so what if he would use a very common phrase? why should this bother anyone? Why on earth would the paramount erupt with laughter and His Holiness smile at his obvious joke?

You know you might think about taking Jesus Christ as your savior instead of fooling around with all this stuff.

Taking the message of compassion to heart...Liberalace I suggest you move a place that brings you more happiness (and us too). Red Deer, Alberta? Elko, Nevada? Butte, Montana. Or you do the research: Look for open-pit mining, legal prostitution, and cultural outlets with neon "Miller High Life" in window. Namaste!

RIP: The Brown Derby

Oh but I do so agree on the B n B analogy. Touche!

Peace, love, and pass the spleef

@ Dolemite...hahahahahaha! You're so right!

... and you might accept the fact that all religion is human folly. That does not mean that the Dalai Lama and/or Jesus Christ does not or did not have worthwhile things to say and impart messages from which we all can learn.

The idea that one must turn these people (yes!) into Gods or risk eternal damnation is just silly. Childish, even.

However, we can view the way they lived their lives as an example to us all. Too many Christians either completely ignore or totally miss the message of the Cross. Too many so-called Buddhists only hear what they want to from His Holiness.

We're all gonna die sometime. What we choose to do with our time is, ultimately, all that will ever matter to any of us.

@ Dave...dude totally dropped the "F" bomb! Why not?

Gandhi, a Hindu, once said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ". Pretty much sums up organized religion for me.

@Dolemite...I am glad you wear your classic local elitism on your sleeve. And I am glad you're embracing the classic conservative (and Archie Bunker) "Love it or leave it" mantra. We may turn lefties around on that pesky Second Amedment thing as well, eh? (With apologies to my Canuck friends in Red Deer.)

This was a 24-graph story in this online edition; eight of the graphs were focused on whether he said "for unlawful carnal knowledge" acronymally (verb?). That about says it all for the target market of this publication.

Now, I look forward to hearing this town's learned opinions on Ann Curry's firing.

R.I.P.: Wade Belak

Possibly we could all benefit from a little more time spent meditating on the impermanent and transitory nature of our lives? I mean: consider hamburgers at The Riverside: they have brought pleasure to so many people. True, the pleasure may have been short-lived. But so are all pleasures. You may not like to believe that a human being is only a gamete's way of making another gamete -- but those are the facts. Has the Buddhist faith or its adherents caused many wars lately? When will the Muslims give back all the churches they stole from the Christians? ... including the Hagia Sophia in 'Stamboul. America's old world order seems to have brought us one war after another more or less continuously during my lifetime. And yet we Americans are mostly all Christian followers of the Prince of Peace. Instead of corn meal, try putting panko crumbs under your bread when you bake it. I think I may have been the first to think of this. Good luck to all of you on this beautiful day ....... Go look at the Blue Ridge, why don't you? -- instead of arguing about the value of "religion" and "Christianity" in human lives. A preacher is only a preacher, but a Riverside burger's no joke. Half the people in this world can't afford to buy one. And that does make me snicker at the "serious" ideas so poignantly expressed in this comment thread. Feed the children. Please. One at a time. Feed one child you never met before. Once a month, maybe. Please.

@Liberalace: No love it or leave, here but thanks for applying "classic" to me; oh man just basking. Join a well regulated militia and just stop bitchin' for crying out loud. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Dave, Kristin, and Dede give me hives at times but they mean well and put a lot more effort into this community than I bet you (and definitely than I) do. It's a liberal town; get over it or seek your bliss elsewhere. I can't stand knowing that you're so unhappy. It hurts me and keeps me from moving beyond Samsara.

Next time yall go to wal-mart remember that you are supporting a regime that wants to imprison and silence this great man. Extra low prices!

It is perhaps paradoxical that the Chinese invasion and "conquest" of Tibet has led to a great flowering of Buddhism in the West. Millions of people in the West who might never have heard of the Dalai and the other branches of Tibetan Buddhism are now supporters of the several Tibetan faiths. Though it was truly an incalculable cultural loss, the Tibetan churches in the West seem to have done fairly well financially out of losing their homeland. And the benefits to the West and the widespread expansion of Buddhism are incalculable. So, let's get the Han out of Tibet before we visit WalMart again. Or buy anything made in China.

Someone should have told him how popular the violence of abortion and the cocaine trade are in Charlottesville. As a pro life leader, I'm sure he would have commented on those things.

Cluephone: When everyone in Charlottesville towards something or someone, go the other way.

Correction: When everyone in Charlottesville is running towards something or someone, go the other way.

Oh, well if Janis Jacquith Facebooked it right away, then it must be true.

Having studied live and worked among Tibetans for 20 years now, and being not only familiar with Tibetan accents but also having listened to lectures by and having spoken with HHDL myself on several occasions, I can assure you he just said "forget". Anyone who thinks otherwise has no clue about His Holiness and is merely going for the prurient market.

Gizard...I think you're missing the whole point here. The DL may very well have not meant to say a profanity, but people heard it as such. At Brown University recently, someone doing the closed captioning for his talk heard it as such. I speak a little French, and if I pronounced a word in a way that made it sound like a French curse word, then it would be heard as a French curse word. Am I missing something here? If I'd done that, I might put in some practice pronouncing the word the right way….or maybe not use it.

Why would someone's accent per se be the subject of all this giddiness?

No, the point is that some people, who have a Beavis and Butthead concept of HHDL, are determined that He dropped an f-bomb (cool, huh huh!), but of course he didn't. I'm frankly perplexed why The Hook is even bothering to reporting this, much less making it the focus of their article.

@Gizard...Whether he said it or not is almost irrelevant. The fact is it sounds like it, and that is humorous.

I'd rather be compared to Beavis & Butthead than walk around with a stick up my a$$ because I met and spoke to the DL. Get over yourself.

Just setting the record straight, ya butthead ;-)

Cool, huh huh ;-)

You are misleading people and making me feel very sad. Dalai Lama said "forget it" if what he says doesn't make any sense to people.. He often says this phrase all over the world and people like it and laugh it. This term "Fuck" is not exist in Dalai Lama's verbal deeds in his entire life. Please correct your mistake in your weekly news paper. I apprecaite for that.