In anticipation of the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday, the much beloved spiritual leader is planning a three day conference at Anaheim’s Honda Center on “awakening compassion”.
The speeches will begin on Sunday and conclude on Tuesday. He will speak to thousands covering topics such as compassion, creativity/the arts, youth leadership, and climate change.
Although his birthday is this upcoming Monday he has already received well wishes from one of his closest political allies, former president George W Bush. On Wednesday he visited the George W. Bush Presidential Center, in Dallas, Texas. Bush presented his old friend with a portrait that he himself painted of the Dalai Lama.
The portrait was originally part of a collection of 30 world leaders painted by Bush during his retirement. Bush was quoted as saying “the Dalai Lama is a very sweet man, and I painted him as sweetly as I could”.
The Dalai Lama was both impressed and flattered by the gift. The two have a very cheeky relationship and the Dalai Lama light heartedly poked at Bush saying:
“My right eye could use some work!”
During a lunch they both attended, Bush and the Dalai Lama blew out candles on a cake to celebrate their shared birthday next Monday.
For his birthday the Art Institute of California is creating a five foot cake for his holiness’s birthday. Colleen Johnson has volunteered with a group of bakers to create the giant cake. It will feature a Styrofoam base, one hundred pounds of fondant, four hundred gum paste flowers and will be covered in wine and gold frosting (mimicking the Dalai Lama’s robes). The flavour of the cake will be lemon-vanilla with strawberry filling. Yum!
“I hope to God everything works,” Johnson said on Friday. She was honored to create the cake and excited to hear the Dalai Lama speak about “the transformative power for creativity and art.”
Happy Birthday to the Dalai Lama! Here’s to many more!
RUNAGROUND “We Are One – RUNAGROUND | Dalai Lama 80th Birthday” Youtube. 29 June 2015. Web. 3 July 2015.