Today I had the joy of seeing His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Sacramento. He arrived at about 1:35pm on the south side driveway, which was lined with well-wishers. The caravan approached the west steps, where he was helped out of a black sedan. An umbrella was provided to help shield His Holiness from the 95 degree sun. He came up the steps to be greeted by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon, before waving to the crowds in all directions. He posed for pictures, continued heading up the steps with de Leon, then stopped again to wave before going to address a joint session of the California legislature on several topics covered in the Sacramento Bee. He brought his message of compassion, as well as discussing gun control, education and environmental matters to a joint session of the California congress.
I had arrived two hours ahead of time, and because His Holiness was running late, it was a long three hours in the blazing sun. Several staffers were out on their lunch hours, and despite the heat and the relatively quick appearance, the crowd seemed to feel that the wait was worth it.
I was privileged to see His Holiness last year in San Francisco when he spoke, and his impish glee, good-nature, and sweet disposition are apparent even from a distance. This was his first visit to Sacramento and I hope it will not be his last.