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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Want to know the secret to more love and happiness in your life?  How about being in the presence of the Dalai Lama?  It’s his first trip to New Orleans.  People flocked to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Friday morning to catch a glimpse of his holiness.  Twist reporter Deepak Saini has the story.

Serene and peaceful, the Himalayas that tower the Tibetan landscape are just as stunning as the Dalai Lama himself.  To catch him in your sight is just as breathtaking.  So what is he doing in New Orleans.

The Dalai Lama jokes, “When you receive an invitation with some sort of free ticket, then declining that invitation is foolish.”

It’s East meets West.  After all, when do you ever see a monk using an iPAD?

Dave McBurnett, who drove to see his holiness from Coconut Grove, Florida says, “We need all the positive energy we can get in New Orleans.  He definitely brings that.”

New Orleans could use a sense of peace right now.  Less then a week after the Mother’s Day shooting in the Seventh Ward, the Dalai Lama offered his condolences.

The Dalai Lama says, “The real gun control, control of gun, ultimately from here, here, you see (points to his heart).  You must educate.”

You can’t help but be curious about the Dalai Lama.  He’s one of the most influential people in the world.   But how much do we actually know about him?  It’s time for a pop quiz.

(Reporter gives attendees a pop quiz)

As Tibet yearns for independence from China, its people look to their spiritual leader, and so do we.

The Dalai Lama says, “It’s very important to make clear all these sad things, negative things, meantime you should provide people basis of hope.”

After all, striving for love, compassion and peace is universal.

On Saturday, May 18th, the Dalai Lama is scheduled to talk at the UNO Lakefront Arena.  His holiness will also be speaking at Tulane University’s graduation ceremony where he’ll receive an honorary degree.

He’ll also be speaking at tulane’s graduation ceremony where he’ll receive an honorary degree.