The Dalai Lama is in Long Beach this week, preparing for a talk he’ll give on Saturday. The theme? "Peace of Mind In Troubled Times."
The Dalai Lama is being hosted by the Gaden Shartse Thubten Dhargye Ling in the Long Beach Convention Center.
"Because it is so rare that His Holiness would confer an initiation from the Highest Yoga Tantra class of initiations in the United States, we feel something very special and significant will be taking place," says the Center on its website.
As such, it continues, "only serious students who are willing to abide by the commitments laid out by His Holiness may attend the initiation."
The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism gave a preview of the talk to several journalists on Friday, saying that the "seeds of human compassion and gentleness are planted early."
"We [are] entirely dependent on others’ affection, mainly mother’s affection, mother’s care, and mother’s milk," says the Dalai Lama.
Individual oneness with all human beings, he said, will lead to less cheating, bullying and killing.
Van Nguyen said she traveled to Long Beach from the Bay Area to hear that message.
"And to try to understand why things are the way they are, to love somebody who hurts you, and forgive them," says Nguyen.
The 76 year-old Dalai Lama retired as Tibet's political leader in exile last year, but he is still considered the spiritual leader for about 5 million Tibetans.
This Dalai Lama is considered the 14th incarnation of the "living Buddha," and has spoken openly about choosing a successor. But, the Tibet Post reports, those statements have caused China to issue it's own set of restrictions which maintain that the next Dalai Lama must come from within China itself.
This comes on top of a 2007 proclamation requiring Dalai Lama's to receive permission to reincarnate from the Chinese government.
State senator Lou Correa gave the Dalai Lama a commendation for his work toward world peace.
This story has been corrected: A quote earlier attributed to the Dalai Lama was actually said by Nguyen.