ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- It came as a bit of a surprise for many, but for the hundreds waiting on the grounds of the Mayo Clinic campus, they knew full well who would be arriving to greet them as the Dalai Lama paid a visit to Rochester Sunday.
Hundreds gathered outside St. Marys Hospital, lining the sidewalks to the entrance of the building all in hopes of catching a glimpse of his holiness.
"Just to see him is, talking in terms of Christianity, like meeting Jesus in front of you," said Tashi Zopa of Minneapolis.
Jampa Ritzkura traveled from Brooklyn Park to see his holiness. "He's one of the most compassionate Buddhists in our culture," he said. "And he's the 14th Dalai Lama. And he always blesses us everyday."
Then, a motorcade escorted by the Rochester Police Department and Secret Service came down the road. The Dalai Lama emerged from the black sedan with a smile and immediately began shaking hands, sending blessings to the those in the crowd. His Holiness worked his way to the entrance, gave a brief speech and went inside.
The moment have been short lived, however Ritzkura said the experience was worth it.
"That was the best blessing I got. I was pretty close. I was hoping for a shake. Maybe next time," he said.
The Dalai Lama's tour will continue to Madison, Wisconsin Monday.
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