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Pittsburgh, September 18, 2009 – La Roche College is pleased to welcome back to campus Tibetan Buddhist Yogi Lama Gursam for three upcoming events at the McCandless Township main campus. He will present “Spiritual Retreat for a Peaceful World: Benefits to Self and Others” on Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., in the Ryan Room, Zappala College Center.

Lama Gursam will also host a “Meditation for Calm Abiding” instruction and practice on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 11 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m., inside the Magdalen Chapel Inner Sanctuary on the college’s main campus and an “Interfaith Animal Blessing” along with La Roche Director of Campus Ministry Father Peter Horton on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., at the Peace Garden, also on the main campus. Visitors are invited to bring their pets, on a leash or in a carrier, to the Animal Blessing or they may bring a photograph of their pet to be blessed.

All events are free and open to the public, although offerings for the meditation instruction will be accepted.

Yogi Lama Gursam was born and raised as a Tibetan refugee in northern India. He entered the Drikung Kagyu Monastery in Tso Pema, India, at the age of 6, where he studied Buddhist philosophy, practice, ritual and conduct. He completed his bachelor’s degree in 1988 in the Sanskrit, Hindi, Tibetan, and English languages and in Buddhist philosophy.

He received his master’s degree in 1990 in advanced Buddhist philosophy and, upon graduation, he received a special award from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 1995, Lama Gursam was sent to the United States to teach Buddhist philosophy. He continued to study with Tibetan Buddhist masters and completed the necessary practices, including years in solitary retreat, to become a Yogi (an advanced practitioner that has achieved a high level of spiritual insight). Lama Gursam spends six months a year teaching in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and the rest of the year in India, in retreat. He has taken pilgrims on a tour of the holy sites of India and is planning his next pilgrimage for March 2010.

In 2006, Lama Gursam founded the Bodhicitta Foundation, a U.S. non-profit organization, officially recognized by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, the head of the Drikung Kagyu lineage. The Bodhicitta Foundation benefits its members by preserving ancient texts, Tibetan culture, education, women’s rights and health. The local group under his direction is The Bodhicitta Foundation Sangha of Valencia, Pa., which meets weekly on the La Roche College campus.

This year’s peace events are being sponsored by La Roche College’s Center for Student Development, the Religious Studies and Philosophy Department, the Biology Department, the Logos Society and The Bodhicitta Foundation Sangha of Valencia, Pa.

For more information, please visit, or contact Gail Rowe, Ph.D., professor of biology at La Roche College, by phone at 412-536-1154 or by e-mail at

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