"This is my favorite prayer," his holiness, the Dalai Lama, exiled leader of Tibet, told the Senate as he recited the opening prayer Thursday morning.
He spoke each sentence in Tibetan, and then translated it to English. "My broken English," he called it.
This was his prayer:
With our thoughts, we make our world. 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.
May there be joy in the world with harvest and spiritual rest. May every good fortune come to be and may all our wishes be fulfilled.
This is my favorite prayer. 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. Thank you.
"He touches this Catholic any time I see him," said Patrick Leahey, the Democratic Senate president pro-tempore. "He is a gift to the world."
"The presence of his holiness in this chamber today inspires me, as I hope it does all of us, to renew our commitment to speak and act with pure mind to help dispel the misery of the world," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.
This was the first time the Dalai Lama presided over the opening prayer of the Senate. He recently had a meeting with President Obama, to the protest of the Chinese government. Later today, he will meet with Reid and Mitch McConnell.