Fresno

A look at the life of Jalue Dorje, a US teen Buddhist monk – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-07-31 15:59:56 –

Minneapolis-Born in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Jalue Dorje grew up to love football, Pokemon and rap music.

However, after graduating from high school at the age of 14, he looks forward to joining a monastery at the foot of the Himalayas, where he continues his religious studies.

“I want to be a leader in peace, such as the Dalai Lama and Gandhi,” said Dorje, a monk who is also his father.

Unlike most westernized children, Dorje began studying Buddhist religion and culture from an early age after being recognized as the eighth reincarnation of Tulku Taksham Rinpoche in Rama.

His uncle remembers that he was very young when this was discovered and confirmed.

“When I see him grow up as a teenager, he’s both a Buddhist master and an ordinary person, so there’s a lot to take in,” said his uncle, Tashi Rama. “So we can see both sides of it.”

Alongside his religious studies, he closely follows American sports like soccer and basketball.

“I have great friends. They all love sports like me,” he said.

He was in his first year of high school in the fall and is looking forward to subjects such as history, but says, “I have always put religion first.”

As a monk and Buddhist llama, Dorje has many tutors and leaders who train him in Tibetan, prayer memorization, and Buddhist traditions.

One of them is his best friend and mentor, Kempo Kunga.

“All Tibetans will be proud,” Kunga said. “Many young Tibetan children attend English junior high school and cannot speak Tibetan correctly.

Not only does he speak Tibetan correctly, he is also familiar with prayer and rituals such as ringing bells and drums. “

When first recognized as a reincarnation by the Dalai Lama, he was advised to study in a monastery at the age of 10, but his parents wanted him to have a good education, so he pondered. “We decided to stay here until the 12th grade,” he said.

“After graduating, I balanced Tibetan and Western studies, then when I went to India, then only Tibet,” he said.

Families like his uncle Tashi Rama are pleased that Dorje has been with them for a long time, but he is also preparing for his departure and has the opportunity to lead the world in compassion and peace. I am anxious for.

“We really want him to see, become a monk, become a Buddhist master, and lead the world, but when he’s old enough to make that decision, he chooses. Is up to him. “

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The Associated Press’s religious coverage is supported by Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. AP is solely responsible for this content.

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