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The Dalai Lama visits the Wisconsin Legislature

Lacey Crisp

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The Dalai Lama visits the Wisconsin Legislature

CREATED May. 14, 2013 - UPDATED: May. 14, 2013

MADISON - In his ninth visit to the state, the Dalai Lama talked to members of the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly about his love of the U.S. system. He said democracy is the greatest form of government.

Welcomed to the assembly floor with a standing ovation, the Dalai Lama told lawmakers that he studied democracy, and has a lot of respect for lawmakers.

"A person almost his whole life to work towards democratization, I feel a great honor to speak to you," said the 14th Dalai Lama.

He told lawmakers it doesn't matter if you are the president, a leader, or a homeless person, we are all the same.

"Basically the same," he said. "Mentally, emotionally, physically, we are the same. Everyone wants happiness."

It is one of the reasons he says he hates formality. He told a joke about meeting the queen of England at a very formal event.

"The wind doesn't care about formality," he said. "The wind took her majesty's skirt."

He parted with advice for lawmakers, who were fiercely debating bills just before the Dalai Lama's visit.

"It doesn't matter a difference in philosophy, it's simply a different approach," he added. "Try to become a sensitive human being, a compassionate human being with the same goal."