Dalai-Lama will visit Raleigh this fall

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Raleigh's mayor is getting ready for a very special visit from the Dalai Lama this fall.

The Kadampa Center in Raleigh made the official announcement Sunday morning in front of a full congregation.

This announcement was a "pinch me" moment for some in the congregation, as an invitation has been on the table for decades.

"This is momentous. We saw on the TV the other day and actually got a little teary-eyed," said practicing Buddhist Kollen Mitchell.

The location and schedule for the Dalai Lama have yet to be set.

"We have a lot to do, and very little time to do it," said Robbie Watkins, Director of the Kadampa Center.

"It's probably like for the Catholics, the pope coming to town," Mitchell explained.

Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane recently returned from India where she visited the Dalai Lama.

"He's not coming here to convert people to Buddhism, that is not on his radar" Watkins stated. "He is here to share his philosophy with people in the hope that they will find it beneficial."

The Kadampa Center says a 2010 census revealed that Raleigh is in the top 10 when it comes to Buddhist population in the United States.

The Kadampa Center says that the Dalai Lama has a big focus on children, along with the intersection of faith and science.

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