His Holiness The Dalai Lama Blesses the Hokule’a, Answers Questions and HOLDS MY HAND!

I was invited yesterday for a private event held at Kualoa State Park on Oahu, where His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet blessed the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Hokule’a canoe and then answered questions for invited media folks in Hawaii.


His Holiness arrived at Kualoa Park today for a private blessing ceremony for the Hokule’a. As he was escorted to the blessing by Nainoa Thompson and John DeFries, the Dalai Lama was greeted by the sound of conch shells and chants. The Dalai Lama’s earth blessing led into the consecration of the Hokule’a. At the end of the ceremony, the Dalai Lama boarded the Hokule’a with his entourage. The Dalai Lama’s gift of a scarf was tied to the mast, drawing a close to the poignant blessing. (photos courtesy of Pilars of Peace)

Cy Bridges and other members the Hakipu’u Ohana perform a chant to welcome His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet to Kualoa Regional Park on Oahu.

Hakipu’u Ohana blow the pu shell (conch shell) announcing the arrival of His Holiness

His Holiness climbs aboard the Hokule’a

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet jokes with members of the Hokule’a Crew following the Earth Blessing and Consecration of the Hokule’a and the World Wide Voyage.

Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, takes in the Earth Blessing by His Holiness

The crew of the Hokule’a tie a Khata that was given to them by His Holiness to the mast of their canoe

After His Holiness did the blessing, he moved over to a tent where His Holiness fielded questions from the media that was invited… I almost tripped moving to my seat knowing he was coming so close to me!


He spent about 30 minutes talking to reporters and I just kind of was stunned in amazement that I was sitting right across from him!

Here are some of the pictures I took during the question and answer period with His Holiness (Click for larger view):

Here is His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet’s answer to a couple of the questions asked:


And a more serious question regarding the military presence here in the State of Hawaii:


After the question and answer session… His Holiness actually held my hand for about five seconds!!!!  I still haven’t washed my hand!


His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent struggle for Tibet and received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his “many enduring and outstanding contributions to peace, nonviolence, human rights and religious understanding.” He recently won the 2012 Templeton Prize for his work in spiritually relevant scientific research. Author of more than 72 books and the recipient of numerous awards and honorary doctorates, His Holiness describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. For more information about the Dalai Lama, please visit: www.dalailama.com.


With 95 years of community service, the Hawai’i Community Foundation is the leading philanthropic institution in the state. The Foundation is a steward of more than 600 funds, including more than 160 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities. In 2011, more than $43 million in grants and contracts were distributed statewide. The Foundation also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector. Visit www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org for more information.


Active philanthropists who are guided by their belief that people are inherently capable and basically good, Pierre and Pam Omidyar have committed more than $1 billion to help individuals improve their lives and ignite change across a variety of sectors and geographies. The Omidyars received the 2011 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in recognition of the lasting impact of their work and generosity. In 2009, Pierre and Pam made an historic $50 million commitment to the Hawai’i Community Foundation to establish the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund, which is being used to launch several community initiatives. To learn more about the Omidyars’ commitment to Hawai’i and ongoing philanthropic interests around the world, go to www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org/hosts.

3 Responses

  1. Once we move home, I hope I run into you, your blog is my main source of news and I look every week. I must shake the hand of the man who got touched by the Dalai Lama. It’s a once in a lifetime thing for most people. Did you get a photo of your hand while he was touching it? And for five whole seconds. How many days was it before you washed your hand? Did you do everything with your other hand? That is amazing. I envy you your hand that got touched by the Dalai Lama. Did you record the video yourself? What equipment do you use to get the video and audio? Is that you asking the questions?

  2. I can’t imagine holding hands with the Dalai Lama, that is an amazing oportunity you have been given. Thank you very much for sharing these precious video clips of the Dalai’s visit.

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