The Jolly Lama Visits North Texas

One of the highlights of my year is the annual visit by "The Jolly Lama", Dudjam Dorjee, to my little town on the prairie in north Texas. Local folk interested in Buddhism, Tibet or the Lama himself gather on a mild autumn Saturday in early November for a potluck vegetarian lunch beforehand - which ironically is always one of the best meals I have all year, as the participants go all out to make gourmet "foodie" dishes made from scratch - and then listen to the Lama talk for about an hour or so. His musings are always thoughtful and manage to be extremely practical bits of advice on how to live in the modern world. Perhaps realizing that his audience here is a mixture of sincere students of Buddhism, new age seekers, the curious, and the wannabes, the Lama offers ideas on how to integrate sense and sensibility and move through the world with calm intention.

This year the Lama spoke on the importance and value of meditation in our daily lives, and how to meditate. (He also plugged his new book, an autobiography titled Falling Off the Roof of the World, which I have not yet read.)It has been an especially rough year for me and I have, at times, felt overwhelmed handling all my many responsibilities. The Jolly Lama reminds me that if I am not healthy, I cannot take care of the ones I love, and so it is not selfish to take care of myself first. He stressed the importance of balance in one's life : proper diet, healthy exercise, meditation, and loving interaction with the people in our lives. A powerful message in a crazy world.

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