DANBURY, Conn. (AP) — The Dalai Lama called Thursday for a focus on dialogue rather than force to solve problems so that this century can be marked by peace rather than the bloodshed that dominated the last century.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader spoke at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury and was introduced by actor Richard Gere.
‘‘Whenever I'm at an event with his holiness I'm struck by how much in common we all have and how much we really are brothers and sisters and deep from our hearts we start to feel that,’’ Gere said.
The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his nonviolent struggle in protest of Chinese rule of Tibet. He has been on a speaking tour in New England.
The 77-year-old noted that the 20th century was marked by bloodshed and violence. He said in order to create a peaceful century there must be a spirit of dialogue. He said the world is increasingly interdependent and problems such as global warming cross national boundaries.
‘‘So now this century should be a century of dialogue,’’ he said.
The Dalai Lama showed his lighter side, laughing at times and wearing a WCSU cap during his talk. He sparked laughter during a question and answer session after his talk when he was asked about how to deal with greed in capitalism and creating a more compassionate corporate climate and responded, ‘‘I don’t know.’’
The Dalai Lama said he was attracted to the Marxist emphasis on equal distribution of wealth, though he said Leninism was too authoritarian.
The Dalai Lama emphasized the oneness of humanity, saying human beings across the world share a desire for a happy life. He said a peaceful society depends on inner peace and concern for the well-being of others.
He said prayer alone is not enough and recommended an active form of meditation in which problems are analyzed.