by Sunlen Miller
It's not every day you get marriage advice from the Dalai Lama.
But today, in the shadow of the US Capitol thousands of DC-area residents were treated to free advice from the spiritual master himself.
The Dalai Lama said that so many women spend so much money on makeup, but that is not what truly matters, or what leads to a happy and successful marriage.
"Making your face beautiful is good, but in the meantime you must pay more attention about your inner beauty. With inner beauty you will find good companion," the Dalai Lama said. "Without pay much attention about inner beauty, only external beauty, you will find some sort of companion, some partner but it may not last long."
Cosmetic and marriage advice aside, the purpose of the Dalai Lama's discussion today, held outside in the West Front of the US Capitol Building was to speak about how to achieve world peace.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said that organizations such as the United Nations do good, transformative work in the world, but all change really has to start with just one individual.
"Try to create calm mind, peaceful mind, then that creates within our own family, within our own community. That is the way to change our society."
That message was one that reverberated throughout those in the audience that together if everyone tries to make tiny steps to change their neighborhoods, together the city can become better.
"There's always such a good feeling when a crowd comes together with a purpose," Maryanne Engel from Ellicott City said, adding that thoughts of calmness and peace will last with her throughout the day.
D.C. resident Joseph Howard said that everyone should think about the message the Dalai Lama has to say about non-violence when the city has such high crime rates.
"It's important and obviously you want to lower the violence in the city," Howard said.
Gina Lee, a volunteer specializing in stress management and violent communication for a prison, says she will bring that message to the inmates in Annapolis she works with.
"I just felt very inspired to come and see the master and I'll take this to the inmates and maybe share this with them," Lee said.
The Dalai Lama is currently on an eleven-day stay in Washington and today's event marks one of his largest public events since he renounced his political role for his spiritual one.
He'll hold a "Kalachakra" every day at the Verizon Center, one of the most important religious teachings for Buddhists. People of all faiths are welcome at this ticketed event.
Jim Sutorus came all the way from Raleigh, North Carolina to attend today's event and a Kalachakra later in the week. He said more than words, the Dalai Lama's presence is the most special part.
"Seeing him I think is important," Sutorus said, "There's an aura about him that makes you feel special."