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Dalai Lama gives the opening prayer in Senate

March 6, 2014 at 4:34 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, March 6 (UPI) -- The exiled spiritual leader of Tibet delivered the invocation Thursday in the U.S. Senate, the first time the Dalai Lama gave the invocation, records indicated.

The Dalai Lama delivered his prayer in the Tibetan language, then in English, chuckling over his pronunciation, the Los Angeles times said.

"With our thoughts we make our world," the prayer began. "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."

The Buddhist monk has been visiting through the United States after meeting last month with President Obama at the White House despite objections from China, which accuses the Nobel Peace Prize laureate of instigating an independence campaign for the autonomous region to separate from China.

"This is my favorite prayer," he said. "Daily I pray this. That gives me inner strength. So I am asking to serve humanity as long as space remains and as long as beings remain, until then, may I, too, remain and help dispel the misery of the world."

He was invited by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and greeted on the Senate floor by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, the only Buddhist in the Senate, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., an ally of the monk and champion of human rights in Tibet, the Times said.

"I know I speak for the entire Senate family when I express our gratitude for that beautiful prayer, and for his words of encouragement and blessing," Reid said.

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