- Associated Press - Monday, June 20, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California’s diversity of race, culture and religion provide an opportunity to promote peace and compassion, the Dalai Lama told state lawmakers Monday in a speech during a joint session of the Legislature.

The Tibetan spiritual leader said California’s diversity provides “positive potential to create genuine harmony of the different races, different beliefs.”

The Dalai Lama is in the midst of a U.S. tour that included a White House visit last week with President Barack Obama. On Saturday he delivered a sermon at a new Vietnamese temple in Southern California.

In Sacramento, he ate lunch with Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown; Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount; Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, and others, said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Brown.

In his speech, the Dalai Lama echoed the message of peace and compassion that he’s delivered all over the world.



Education, he said, can create a more compassionate society.

“Genuine peace must come through inner peace,” he said.

He expressed hope that the latter part of the 21st Century will be less violent. Just over a week after the shooting death of 49 people at an Orlando nightclub, the Dalai Lama pointed to his heart and said “real gun control must start here.”

Later, he added, “inner disarmament is essential.”

Rendon, the Assembly speaker, praised the Dalai Lama’s remarks.

“His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivered an important message that is particularly resonant given our times - education leads to greater compassion, greater compassion leads to inner peace, and inner peace can prevent the problems of our world,” Rendon said.

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