The 14th Dalai Lama spoke today at graduation ceremonies for a Portland Buddhist College. The event was part of an environmental summit the TIbetan spiritual leader is hosting this weekend.

While the public was not allowed in to Maitripa College's graduation, hundreds gathered outside the college to watch the ceremony on a big screen.

Jonathan Newsome / Oregon Public Broadcasting

After the graduation ceremony, the Dalai Lama spent a few minutes greeting the public.

The Dalai Lama addressed what he described as intersecting spheres of science and spirituality, and what Buddhist theory offers regarding strife in the modern world.

Tenzin Gyatso "No one deliberately try to create problem. But we've become slaves of destructive emotion."

The crowd included some who were simply curious, and some, like Sonam Sundtseang, who was born in Tibet and came to the U.S. twenty years ago. He says he's mostly secular, but still feels a great bond with the Dalai Lama, and came seeking a sort of blessing.

"Listening to him gives you a lot of inspiration, so that you are on the right track."

The Summit events continue with a public talk on the environment Saturday afternoon, and a visit with the TIbetan community Sunday.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.