Dalai Lama: 'Faith and reason should go together'

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Dalai Lama, in town for the first time in 12 years, gave a spiritual message about the environment Thursday morning at the University of Portland, urging the audience of thousands that "faith and reason should go together."

The distinguished spiritual leader took the stage at the college's Chiles Center just before 10 a.m. In addition to his traditional attire, the Dalai Lama donned a purple UP visor.

He told the crowd that faith in God should translate to good stewardship of the environment and animals. It shouldn't be something we preach, but don't live out, he said.

"The religious message should be part of our daily life," the Dalai Lama said.

He didn't offer specifics on how to protect the environment, but he and other spiritual leaders were there to inspire as part of The Dalai Lama Environmental Summit.

"It is out of a lifestyle of mass consumption and extravagance that dwarfs our spirituality," Imam Muhammud Najieb said.

Echoing others' words, Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana said "we are the masters of hope. That's what we do."

Early in his speech, the Dalai Lama said leaders of different faiths should come together to inspire change on a global scale.

"Speak truthfully, honestly, transparently," the Dalai Lama said. "Inside, more satisfaction, more self-confidence, more inner strength."

He also implored the audience to "strengthen messages of love and compassion."

His Holiness did bring a little humor to his speech. When asked to sum thing up a bit, he paused, smiled and simply said, "I don't know."

The Dalai Lama will speak again 1:30 p.m. Thursday. There will also be several subsequent appearances in the area.

The last time the spiritual leader was in Portland was in 2001, when he spoke at Pioneer Square.