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With dozen of lawmakers listening raptly, the Nobel laureate from Tibet opened the session with his favorite prayer and 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.
Offering his favorite prayer, he said that "as long as space remains and as long as sentient beings remain, until then may I, too, remain and help dispel the misery of the world."
Senators bowed their heads as the Dalai Lama prayed. 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.