Last night, at New York City’s Rubin Museum of Art, Academy Award-winning actress and long-time activist Susan Sarandon welcomed the revered Buddhist leader His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa to have a discussion about women’s rights, environmentalism and Buddhist philosophy.
Sarandon wore an autumn colored jacket that showed off her auburn hair. She looked hip too, in her black slacks and black boots. His Holiness wore traditional Buddhist clothes—a yellow robe draped over a loose-fitting sheet-like red garment. An embroidered pillow was set down in front of his feet and a dark grey cap covered his head.
In attendance were Carrie Lee, president of Live to Love International, Author Ava Roosevelt, Wendy J. N. Lee, filmmaker of the documentary “Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey,” Omar Sharif, Jr., the national spokesman for GLAAD, the leading voice for LGBT equality, and many more important and supportive guests.
Susan Sarandon said to His Holiness, “We can agree that most nations are a bit behind in terms of gender equality. It’s interesting you don’t have this problem. In fact, you have broken all the rules in terms of women’s equality. When did you come to understand that empowering women was part of your calling?”
His Holiness replied, “I have broken tradition. For a long time men have thought women cannot do it. Everything man can do but not women. Traditionally there are many, many things that women cannot do. I have been breaking through all of these barriers. I would say this—I am very proud of my achievement or maybe I am achieving. Of course I’m very happy to do it.
To see and hear more about the event please click through the list photos.
Rubin Museum in New York City
Last night the Rubin Museum of Art welcomed His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa. He is the leader of the second largest sect of Buddhism, the Drukpa sect, which is also known as the Dragon Lineage.
Susan Sarandon asked His Holiness about his views on women’s rights, environmentalism and Buddhist philosophy.
Susan Sarandon walks to her seat
Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon has a long history of social and political activism. She was a brilliant pick for the evening with His Holiness. Sarandon is full of grace, intelligence and quick wit.
His Holiness greets Susan Sarandon with a bow
Dressed in traditional Buddhist garb, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa walked on stage and greeted Susan Sarandon. They gracefully bowed towards each other and Sarandon offered him a folded white scarf.
September 26, 2013 event
The room was packed. It was standing room only and His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa accepted the white scarf offered by Susan Sarandon and their chemistry was palpable. It was immediately apparent that they like and respect each other.
Time for conversation
When Sarandon asked the Buddhist leader how he thought peace could be achieved in America. He said, “I don’t believe in peace.” Sarandon, realizing he thought she had meant peace of mind, playfully teased him saying, “You shouldn’t say things like that, you’ll be quoted all over the place.”
Filmmaker Wendy J. N. Lee
Wendy J. N. Lee looked radiant in a red lace dress. Lee is the director of the documentary “Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey,” which tells the tale of 700 people trekking across the Himalayas to call attention to saving the planet from global warming and other environmental dangers. The courageous trekkers suffered harrowing injuries, survived illness, and lived through periods of starvation. They completed the hike and emerged with half a ton of plastic litter strapped to their backs.
Omar Sharif, Jr.
Omar Sharif, Jr. is the grandson of the famous Egyptian actor of the same name. The actor/model walked into the room and the sound of ZZ Top singing “Sharp Dressed Man” came to mind. He is so much more than eye candy, though. Sharif, Jr. is the national spokesman for GLAAD, an organization that fights for LGBT equality. Last year, he wrote an article for the Advocate in which he outed himself publicly as a gay Jewish man hoping for a freer, more tolerant Egypt. The article was aptly titled, “Coming Out Story: We’re Not in Cairo Anymore.”
Author Ava Roosevelt
The crowd included statuesque author and philanthropist Ava Roosevelt. Her book “The Racing Heart”is a romantic thriller.
“The stakes are high for a young supermodel as she tries to foil a terrorist plot in this high-speed, passionate romance novel.” — Kirkus, 2011
It was a lovely event
Susan Sarandon and His Holiness talked about serious topics at the event but the evening was far from somber. Sarandon sprinkled in lighthearted topics and impromptu questions all evening like, “How is your kung fu?” The crowd laughed in all the right parts and The Buddhist leader was quick witted and cracked many jokes himself.
It was a lovely and enlightening event.