GARY T. KUBOTA / GKUBOTA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Haleakala Waldorf eighth-grader Jessica Solomon displays her block print prayer flag, one of thousands made in preparation for the Dalai Lama's visit to Maui.
Students ‘flow’ to Dalai Lama’s vision
WAILUKU » High school student Roland L. Zaleski said he was expressing his own experience of being at peace in nature on Maui, when he wrote a winning essay to celebrate the arrival of the Dalai Lama to the Valley Isle.
The Dalai Lama at War Memorial Stadium on Maui
» 2 p.m., Free public talk on the "The Human Approach to World Peace"
» 2-3:30 p.m., "Eight Verses for Training the Mind," $20 admission
Gates will open at 10 a.m. on each day to begin security processing. No bags or food will be allowed to be brought into the stadium. Attendees are asked to bring what fits in their pockets. Tickets may be purchased at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, (808) 242-7469, or online at www.mauiarts.org. Webcasts of the Dalai Lama's presentations are scheduled to be transmitted through www.tibetfund.org.
"It's just sort of a flow. It's working with what we have. It's not destroying forests to make beauty," said Zaleski, a senior at King Kekaulike High School in Upcounty Maui.
Even before the Dalai Lama begins two days of public appearances on Maui starting tomorrow, his presence is being felt by thousands of people statewide, including students from at least 50 schools.
About 1,000 youths who participated in various peace projects are expected to be at his free public talk about "The Human Approach to World Peace" tomorrow at War Memorial Stadium in Kahului beginning at 2 p.m. Attendance is expected to exceed 10,000 people each day, according to stadium organizers.
On Wednesday from 2 to 3:30 p.m., the Dalai Lama is scheduled to present a philosophical discourse about "Eight Verses for Training the Mind" at the stadium. Tickets are $20 each.
Michael Mancini, a coordinator of the school events, said the idea for the peace projects was to have Hawaii students express their vision of peace.
"Using art and creativity in the ... projects are a way to explore kindness, compassion and peace," said Mancini, chairman of Haleakala Waldorf School. "I believe that this helps the children of Hawaii to establish a sense of place and culture."
Some students expressed their vision through making block prints on prayer flags and contributing to an Aloha Peace Wall that will be displayed at the stadium.
Others wrote poems and essays.
As part of the program during the free public talk tomorrow, Zaleski is scheduled to read his essay "Laughing Together."
A winning poem entitled "The Steps in the Meadow," by Clearview Christian Girls School eighth-grader Jessica Solomon, is also expected to be read during the program.
Mancini said about 2,000 prayer flags have been created by students for the occasion.
Deni Montana, an eighth-grader at Haleakala Waldorf, said making the prayer flag and writing an essay about peace helped her explore and discover her own feelings about life.
"I never had thought about it. The essay had a deeper meaning for me. ... You need happiness to live," Montana said.
Uprooted from Tibet in 1959 following the communist Chinese takeover, the Dalai Lama has established a government in exile in India. He and other exiled Tibetan Buddhists have established religious centers worldwide and have been advocates for global peace.
Tibetan Buddhism recognizes that people have differing backgrounds and that the path to spirituality might be achieved through teachings and practices of non-Buddhist religions.
The Dalai Lama's public appearance to the Valley will be his first on Maui, although he has visited Oahu and the Big Island twice.