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Who Can Say ‘No’ To A Lama?

November 15, 2011

in Nepal

Lama Geshe Chants A Prayer

Lama Geshe speaks Tibetan, so when I visit him, conversations get double and triple translated from a mix English and Nepali to a mix of Sherpa and Tibetan. Whatever is lost along the way doesn’t seem to matter much though. We have always have a good chat, and I depart full of warmth.

When I visited him this time, Lama Geshe was talking about the loss of Sherpa culture as Westernization and materialism gradually co-opt traditional Sherpa values and spiritualism. Some young Sherpas can’t speak the language, and some who are educated in Kathmandu have no desire to return to the mountains. I can see it is painful to witness.

Sometimes I suspect that I was an old Nepali woman in a prior life, because I am particularly content to sit and chat with old Nepali people about religion and culture and the deteriorating state of world. When I asked him what could be done about this problem of diminishing culture,  Lama Geshe said it would be good if I wrote the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum in a book or carved it on a stone where people could see it. He mentioned that just yesterday, he had taught the mantra to a group of 30 tourists who visited so that they would go home and say it and others would hear it. I fretted about my lack of publications and stone-carving skills for a moment, but really, who can say no to a high lama? I said I could post it on the internet where I write.

Lama Geshe is worldly enough to have heard of the internet, though I’ve no idea to what extent he grasps it. It’s probably his grand-daughter who’s explained it to him. Anyhow, he assures me posting on the internet is a very good idea. Yes, it will be very good if I will do this. He’s beaming with contagious pleasure, so I ask him if he’d like to recite it and then I’ll post the video where everyone can see it. Oh yes, that’s also a very good idea!

Lama Geshe actually takes the moment to chant a longer prayer, Tibetan scripture rolling easily from memory to mouth. I had the meaning translated by a friend and lama only after reaching Kathmandu, and I was reminded why Lama Geshe and I seem to find common ground despite the language divide. The prayer invites the positive forces in the world to arise and grow and asks for happiness for all beings and an end to suffering. It also invites purification and the hope that we ourselves may be the cause of these positive changes in the world.

Here it is: the first half above, the second half below. It’s a short prayer from Lama Geshe to the world, because I can’t say no to the lama, and why would I want to?

Lama Geshe Prayer 2

{ 2 comments }

Brittany Reed November 16, 2011 at 7:31 am

Thank you for this post, Deana! It’s beautiful and really helpful to me. I’m going to share it with many people.
-Brittany

Erin Lasky November 19, 2011 at 5:36 am

Loved this! Even though I obviously don’t understand what he is saying, the sparkle in his eyes and his warmth and wisdom are so evident. Thank you for capturing this wonderful person on video for us to see. Miss you! Erin

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