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Dalai Lama talks in LA for 1st time in 3 yrs

February 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The Dalai Lama made a large-scale public talk in Los Angeles Sunday for the first time since 2006.A crowd of thousands gathered at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City to listen to the Dalai Lama speak.

His Holiness settled in for a long talk. For nearly 2-and-a-half hours he spoke and took questions, focusing his conversation on finding inner peace.

The talk was organized by Los Angeles-based Whole Child International to raise awareness of the plight of orphaned children.

But the message the Dalai Lama delivered applies to all families; In order to create a peaceful society people need to cultivate compassion at a very young age.

People who attended the speech said the left they amphitheatre in awe.

"Politics aside, one of the reasons that he is such popular person is because he keeps promoting nonviolence and compassion," said Jeff Gilkman. "I think that people are able to rise above politics and take that message and promote those ideas as well."

"I'm ready to go tackle anything now because as long as I keep that inner peace things will be OK," said Genevieve Hayman.

On Thursday the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader met in private with President Barack Obama. It was a low key meeting but the Dalai Lama said he understands the president's predicament. China had urged Obama not meet with the Dalia Lama and said any meeting would seriously harm relations China has with the United States.

The Dalai Lama said the U.S. should develop an economic relationship with China without foregoing America's founding principles.

Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama.