The Dalai Lama canceled his US appearances for the month of October after doctors at Minnesota's Mayo Clinic advised him to rest, his office says. The 80-year-old Tibetan Buddhist leader was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester this week for what was described as a routine check-up. "The doctors have advised His Holiness to rest for the next several weeks," his office said in a statement on its website Friday. "We deeply regret the inconvenience caused by this decision and apologize to all the people who have worked so hard in organizing the visit as well as to the public." The statement gave no more details about the Dalai Lama's condition.
The Dalai Lama had been scheduled to make two appearances at the University of Colorado, including a public talk, and was due to receive an award from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Oct. 26. Lobsang Tsering, president of the Utah Tibetan Association, says the Salt Lake City visit included an invitation to a world relations conference, a public talk at the University of Utah, and a dedication of the new Tibetan Association Community Center. Tsering says when he learned of the cancellation, "my heart dropped." But he says that for Tibetan people, "the most important thing is the well-being of His Holiness. And we all know he needed a rest." (Organizers ordered a giant cake when the Dalai Lama celebrated his 80th birthday in Anaheim.)