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Visiting Dalai Lama tells Minneapolis crowd: Violence 'can disappear'

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The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, has wrapped up his visit to Minneapolis, where he gave a public talk to a crowd of several thousand on Sunday.

He had much to say to Minnesota's Tibetan community, many of whom were in attendance at the Minneapolis Convention Center. He praised them for having "kept up with our Tibetan spirit very strongly" so far away from home and so long after the annexation of their homeland by China in the 195os (a situation that led to the Tibetan Uprising, and ultimately, the Dalai Lama's exile in India).

He also reminded the listeners that “it’s the responsibility of the older generation to introduce (Tibetan) religion and culture to the younger generation."

You can view video of the talk by clicking here.

According to a MinnPost piece from 2011, Minnesota is home to America's second-largest Tibetan population. Sunday's Minneapolis event was organized by the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota.

But there was a more overarching theme to his visit Sunday, and that was one of peace.

Though he didn't directly reference "the epidemic of gun violence or current politics," the Star Tribune notes, the Dalai Lama told the crowd that "gun control must take place here," as he pointed to his heart. If people "develop of a sense of" understanding and concern for others' lives, he added, eventually "destructive action...can disappear."

He also took time to assure the crowd he was in good health, the Tribune points out.

He was referring to his recent trips to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he's being treated for prostate issues. The Dalai Lama on Sunday noted he's received treatment at the world-famous hospital for the past 10 years.

MPR says there was a crowd of about 3,000.

Originally named Lhamo Thondup but now known as Tenzin Gyatso, he is the 14th Dalai Lama, and became the leader of Tibet in 1950 at the age of just 15, his biography says.

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