- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2014

Only about a dozen senators were in the chamber when the Dalai Lama offered the opening prayer in the Senate on Thursday morning.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat, introduced the Dalai Lama to the chamber’s only Buddhist, Sen. Mazie Hirono, Hawaii Democrat, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, who touched foreheads with the Dalai Lama before he began what he called his “favorite prayer” that he prays every day for inner strength.

“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,” he said.

Before beginning his translation into English, the Dalai Lama joked about his broken English and said some of the pronunciation may not be right.

After the prayer, both Mr. Leahy and Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, thanked the Dalai Lama for speaking before the Senate.

“I know I speak for the entire Senate family when I express our gratitude for the prayer to open the Senate and his words of encouragement and his blessing,” Mr. Reid said. “His Holiness often says he’s only a simple monk, born to a farming family in northeastern Tibet, but to millions of people in Tibet and across the globe, he is much more. He is a source of hope and inspiration in a world that can sometimes seem very dark.”