"With our thoughts we make our world," the prayer began. "Our mind is central and precedes our deeds. Speak or act with a pure mind and happiness will follow you like a shadow that never leaves."
The Buddhist monk is continuing a U.S. visit, after meeting last month with President
The Dalai Lama planned to hold visits with congressional leaders Thursday across Capitol Hill.
Guest chaplains occasionally open the House and Senate chambers, but Thursday marked the first time the Dalai Lama gave the invocation, according to the Senate Historical Office.
He was invited by Senate Majority Leader
"This is my favorite prayer," he said when he arrived at the final line, pointing at his notes. "Daily I pray this. That gives me inner strength. So I am asking to serve humanity as long as space remains and as long as beings remain, until then, may I, too, remain and help dispel the misery of the world."
Only a small number of senators -- almost a dozen Democrats and fewer Republicans -- were present on the Senate floor for the occasion.
"I know I speak for the entire Senate family when I express our gratitude for that beautiful prayer, and for his words of encouragement and blessing," Reid said.