ALBANY—His Holiness the Dalai Lama is in town, and just offered the opening prayer over the State Senate chamber.
"Compassion will guide more of our activities in way that they become constructive," the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso said. "Compassion will bring us in step with more confidence, and inner peace of mind. That's extremely useful for our character."
Before opening the session, Gyatso met with Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and several other senators, and offered blessings to other members on the floor.
"We should always be truthful, we should always be honest, and we should always strive for transparency," Smith said in a floor speech welcoming Gyatso.
"We ask that you pray for this minority," Minority Leader Dean Skelos said in a similar speech.
Gyatso replied during a speech, noting that "liberty, freedom democracy: these are, I think, your true values. I want to show and express my respect and express it."
And then, "I usually side with the minority, so my sympathy would be more the Republican side."