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River Falls-based State Senator Sheila Harsdorf welcomed the Dalai Lama to Wisconsin May 14 during his two-day visit to Madison to give a teaching, take part in a panel discussion at UW-Madison and address a joint session of the State Legislature. Submitted photo

Area state senator greets Dalai Lama

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State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) welcomed the Dalai Lama to Wisconsin Tuesday, May 14, during his two-day visit to Madison to give a teaching, take part in a panel discussion at UW-Madison and address a joint session of the State Legislature.

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Said Harsdorf about the encounter: "It was an honor to be one of the legislators chosen to greet the Dalai Lama prior to his address to the State Legislature. The Dalai Lama demonstrated the value of humility and respect as he shared his message on the importance of compassion and democracy."

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader spoke to Wisconsin lawmakers about the importance of democracy and delivered his message of peace and compassion.

This is the 10th visit the Dalai Lama has made to UW-Madison.

He said the world's greatest problems can be addressed by teaching ethics to youngsters at an early age and stressing altruism and compassion. He told his audience of about 2,000 people that each individual must have a role in solving societal problems.

He said the entire world faces some type of moral crisis, and people must think in a more holistic way. The Dalai Lama told audience members to share his comments with 10 people, so they can tell 10 more.

His address was part of a day-long conference sponsored by the U-W Madison Center for Investigating Healthy Minds - which the Dalai Lama helped dedicate.

He also said stress costs American businesses around $300 billion a year and added that the growing gap between the rich and the poor is, "morally wrong."

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