MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The spiritual leader of Tibet is in Minnesota.
The Dalai Lama spoke to thousands of members of the Tibetan community Saturday and plans to speak to more Sunday.
He spread a message of non-violence Saturday and said that he was saddened, as well as understanding, after hearing about the death of Osama bin Laden. He said that unexpected consequences occur when you answer violence with violence.
“It was strange, kind of, seeing a world leader,” said Lachlan Anders-Macleod, an 11-year-old from Minneapolis who saw the Dalai Lama Saturday.
Anders-Macleod, a young journalist, was among the dozens of media members who attended a Saturday morning press conference with His Holiness.
“I’m really interested in Tibet and it’s struggles,” Anders-Macleod said.
Along with a handshake, Lachlan asked one of the few questions when the Dalai Lama spoke to the media.
“What is your message to people of my generation of kindness to people in society?” Anders-Macleod asked the Dalai Lama.
“You should try to build this century. This century should be century of dialogue,” the Dalai Lama said.
The Dalai Lama told that same message of peace to members of the Tibetan community.
“He always remind us how to be a better person and what is values of being a human being,” said Nyima Saldon, who attended a spiritual ceremony Saturday morning.
Minnesota has the second largest Tibetan population in the country, with an estimated 3,000 people. The Dalai Lama hasn’t visited in years, so no one wanted to miss out on the chance to see him and hear him speak.
“For me, it was very special because I never get to see him that close,” said Tenzin Soepa, a member of the Tibetan community.
“I forget all my worries, all my tension, all my work. I’m fresh new person,” Saldon said.
His trip even brought in visitors from as far as Michigan, like David Goetzka.
“The Dalai Lama is like the Pope or Jesus Christ to Christians …. It’s very important to see him when you can,” Goetzka said.
At a time when the world is dealing with terrorism and war, the Dalai Lama’s message of non-violence seems to carry great meaning to many.
“Dialogue is the only way,” the Dalai Lama said.
The Dalai Lama has two events scheduled for Sunday. For more information, click here.