Advised to Rest, Dalai Lama Cancels October U.S. Visit

Image: File photo of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama speaking during a news conference at Magdalene College in Oxford
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama speaks during a news conference at Magdalene College in Oxford, Britain in this September 14, 2015 file photo.DARREN STAPLES / Reuters

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By The Associated Press

The Dalai Lama canceled his U.S. appearances for the month of October after doctors at Minnesota's Mayo Clinic advised him to rest, his office said Friday.

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."

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets people as he arrives at the Tsuglagkhang temple at McLeod Ganj near Dharamsala, India, on Sept. 10.SANJAY BAID / EPA

The statement gave no more details about the Dalai Lama's condition and representatives did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking additional comment.

The University of Colorado and the Tibetan Association of Colorado had announced earlier Friday that the Office of Tibet in Washington, D.C., informed them a planned visit would be canceled. The Dalai Lama had been scheduled to appear at the university Oct. 20-21.

Besides the trip to the school in Boulder, Colorado, the Dalai Lama's schedule had listed appearances in Salt Lake City and Philadelphia next month.

Mayo Clinic, where the Dalai Lama has made regular visits in past years, on Thursday confirmed his most recent visit for evaluation but released no details, as is routine. Mayo spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo said Friday she had no further information to release and wouldn't confirm whether he had left the clinic.

A secretary to the Dalai Lama, Chime Rigzin, told AP on Thursday that the Dalai Lama had been to the clinic and had had no health complaints. Rigzin told AP test results were fine and the Dalai Lama would soon be returning to Dharamsala, India.