By Charlie Howard
Special to the Camera
Link to Story: Here
Spectators were thrilled to have two opportunities to see the 14th Dalai Lama speak at the University of Colorado Boulder's Coors Event Center on Thursday.
Many native and non-native Tibetans arrived early sporting robes and dresses called Chupas. Chupas are a form of traditional Tibetan dress, not to be confused with the maroon and yellow Buddhist monks' robes the Dalai Lama was seen sporting.
Yvonne Holland and her daughter Shuryl Holland drove up for the day from Denver. Shuryl Holland got tickets to see the Dalai Lama as a Mother's Day present for her mom.
"We like this kind of atmosphere — mellow, just trying to always give back, always do the right thing," Yvonne Holland said. "How many times in life will you get to be able to see the Dalai Lama?"
Holland said she hopes to leave His Holiness's teachings with "a positive energy."
"And just to walk away, shoulders back a little bit further and just to relay that feeling to everyone else in our lives," she said.
Security for the event was tight. Spectators weren't aloud to bring their bags or water bottles, which resulted in large collections of bottles being left around the building.
The Dalai Lama arrived at the Coors Event Center at around 9:30 a.m. for his first talk.
While waiting for His Holiness to speak, attendees milled around the arena, getting water to beat the heat and ordering food from the concession stands.
Inside, crews had set up a makeshift market on the events center concourse with Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian items such as beads, scarves, shawls, mantra banners and jewelry.
Thutop Yuthok, who moved here in 2005, owns the store Yuthok Tibetan Treasure in Denver.
He said singing bowls, small bowls made with seven types of metal that emit a bell sound, were especially popular before the Dalai Lama's teachings. A large bowl sold for $120.
Yuthok and other vendors said they planned to donate half of their proceeds to the Tibetan Association of Colorado.
"This is a special event because the Dalai Lama is talking," Yuthok said. "Most people who come here have a lot of interest in these kinds of things, but usually it's not like this. This is really busy. We are selling a lot."
Many spectators exiting the event center early said they blamed their premature departure on the hot temperatures inside.
Boulder's Stephanie Anderson said that she found the spiritual leaders talk difficult to hear. "The acoustics were not ideal for this kind of an event," she said. "But being in his presence was still well worth the price of admission."