WASHINGTON: With dozen of lawmakers listening raptly, the Nobel laureate from Tibet the Dalai Lama opened the session in the US Senate on Thursday with his favorite words of advice. He delivered his brief remarks in both a foreign tongue as well as self-described “broken English.”
“With our thoughts, we make our world,” said the Dalai Lama, dressed in gold and red robes. “Our mind is central and precedes our deeds. Speak or act with a pure mind and happiness will follow you like a shadow that never leaves.”
He hoped for joy in the world and good fortune.
Senators remained quiet as the Dalai Lama spoke. Staff filled the back rows of the chamber and visitors observed from the gallery above. The opening session drew more people than a typical start to the Senate day.
Before his words, Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat and a Buddhist, had greeted the Dalai Lama, and the two clasped hands. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, and the Dalai Lama bowed heads and touched briefly. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, thanked the Dalai Lama for his words of encouragement.
The Dalai Lama gave up his political role as the leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile in 2011.
On Feb. 21, President Barack Obama met with the Dalai Lama over the strong objections from China that the US was meddling it its affairs.
Beijing considers the Dalai Lama an anti-Chinese separatist because of his quest for greater Tibetan autonomy.