James Taylor Performs at Dalai Lama Talk on ‘Beyond Religion’ in Boston

Yesterday I drove into Boston to hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak on the subject of his latest book, Beyond Religion. The event sponsored by MIT’s Dalai Lama Center For Ethics And Transformative Values, was held at the Marriot Copley Plaza Hotel Ballroom and it was a sold out event. With over 2500 attendees, it was clear there was a great interest in what His Holiness had to say on the topic.

REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

A performance by Massachusett’s own James Taylor national treasure, opened the event. Taylor performed a short set of James Taylor favorites with Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Owen Young, including: Secret O’Life, Sweet Baby James, You’ve Got a Friend, Roadrunner, America The Beautiful, and Shower The People. The roar of applause at one point during Taylor’s performance caused Taylor to quip with some humor in his sparkling eyes, “I don’t know why, but I like it when you do that with your hands.”

Taylor’s set list invoked in me the embodiment of His Holiness’s lessons on values: love, children, learning and friendship. I thought to myself, after he sang Shower The People, isn’t that the message we should all heed and follow, to shower the people with love.

As Taylor was singing Shower The People, His Holiness entered the ballroom from the side of the stage.  The crowd noticing him enter stood as he was seated in the front row to watch Taylor and Owen Young finish their set. James Taylor called his wife and daughter up to the stage and they closed the set singing, You Can Close Your Eyes.

Tomorrow… More on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Boston and MIT.

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