The Dalai Lama today received the £1.1 million Templeton Prize, presented to him at St. Paul's Cathedral in the City of London. Awarded annually this year was the 40th Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities. The 76-year-old Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, Tenzin Gyatso, received the prize for his work in encouraging scientific research and harmony among religions. Canon Mark Oakley, Treasurer of St Paul’s said: "We deeply admire the Dalai Lama’s tireless energy which, over half a century, has taught us all that the spiritual quest of humanity lies at the heart of who we are and deepens our human potential...We give thanks for the ways in which the Dalai Lama has defended the right of the Tibetan people to enjoy their own culture, language and religion." Asked about the Occupy protest outside St Paul's, the Dalai Lama said "If their reasons and motivations are sincere, then I will join with them." He thought the protests were justified as a way of bringing to light grievances which would otherwise have been ignored." He also spoke of his shock at last summer's riots in the UK. However he refused to speak about Tibetan politics following his resignation as political leader last year. The religious leader has already announced his intention to donate the majority of the prize money to the 'Save the Children' fund in India, with smaller bequests to a science and religion group which is studying the effects of Buddhist practice and to a project to train Buddhist monks as scientists. The prize is named after Sir John Templeton (1912–2008), an American-born British entrepreneur and businessman, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1987 for his philanthropic efforts, and is usually presented by Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace.
Dalai Lama receives £1.1m Templeton Prize at St. Paul's Cathedral