For Minnesota teen Buddhist lama, it’s faith, school, football – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-08-05 05:10:24 –

Columbia Heights, Minnesota >> In most respects, Jalue Dorje is a typical American teenager. He grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis and loved football, Pokemon and rap music.

Still, a few years later, he says goodbye to his family and hometown and hopes to join the monastery at the foot of the Himalayas. From an early age, he was recognized as a reborn lama by the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan Buddhist leaders.

Since that recognition, he has spent much of his life training to become a monk, memorizing sacred scriptures (often rewarded by his dad with Pokemon cards), practicing calligraphy, and teaching Buddha. I learned.

He is now 14 years old and is in his first year of high school. After graduating in 2025, he heads to northern India to attend the Mindrolling Monastery, more than 7,200 miles from his home in Columbia Heights.

After a period of contemplation and asceticism, he wants to return to America to teach in the Minnesota Buddhist community. What is his goal? “To be a leader in peace,” he said. “Like the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela.”

Recently, he chanted ancient prayers for hours with his father and other monks gathered in the prayer room of his family’s house, ringing a bell near an altar decorated with fruits, flowers, and torma rituals, and drumming. And blew the shell of the conch. cake.

The annual ceremony, which was interrupted last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, pays homage to Guru Rinpoche, the Indian Buddhist master who brought esoteric Buddhism to Tibet. For two days this year, the group prayed for the peace and well-being of natural disasters, wars, victims of COVID-19, and people around the world.

During breaks, Jalue had lunch in the garden in the summer sun and was by far the youngest monk. He then walked upstairs in a russet and gold robe to play NBA 2K video games with his 13-year-old Delek Topgyal. Old cousin and best friend.

The young llama loses in Team Kyrie Irving, later explaining that Team LeBron James is “substantially invincible.”

The process of identifying llamas is based on mental signs and vision.

Jarue was about four months old when identified by the worshiped master of Tibetan Buddhism, the Nyingma leader, Cavier Tursik Rinpoche. He was later identified as the eighth Terchen Takasham Rinpoche by several other llamas. The first one was born in 1655 under the name Takasham Nüden Dorje.

When the Dalai Lama visited Wisconsin in 2010 after recognizing him as a reincarnation of a guru at the age of two, Jalou’s parents took him to meet a spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama cut Jalou’s hair at the ceremony. He also advised his parents to keep his son in the United States to complete his English and send it to the monastery at the age of 10.

Jalue is currently fluent in English and Tibetan and often gets an A in class. He was officially crowned at the 2019 ceremony in India, but he still lives in Columbia Heights and his parents decided to stay until graduation.

“I see him grow up as a teenager because he’s a Buddhist master as well as an ordinary person, so there’s a lot to do,” said his uncle, Tashi Rama. .. “We can see both sides of it.”

In Jalou’s room, a photo of the Dalai Lama is above the DVD collection of The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park, next to the volume of Buddha. It is a graphic novel series by Osamu Tezuka, a master of Japanese manga known as manga.

Jalou keeps a diary on the bedside table, illustrating a football strategy that he wants to play on the field as a defensive tackle and offensive guard with the school team.

He loves sports, especially the Atlanta team.

“You will always see me outside wearing this hat,” he said of his favorite Falcons cap. “Unless I’m wearing a robe.”

Would it be easier if he was a normal teenager? “That doesn’t come to my mind,” he said with a laugh. “It was always the first religion.”

Growing up, he signed a contract with his father. And he will give him a Pokemon card in return for remembering the Buddhist scriptures. He collected hundreds and sometimes sneaked them into his robe in ceremonies.

Every morning he wakes up and recites the sacred text. He then goes to school, then practices soccer and goes home for a tutor lesson on Tibetan history and Buddhism. Late at night, he may practice calligraphy or run on a treadmill in the basement, listening to rappers like Drake and Polo G.

“He is, of course, very open-minded and very seriously interested in the world …. He does not have these preconceptions about who he is,” said Bodhicitta Sangha Heart of Minneapolis. Kate Thomas, one of his tutors and education coordinator at the Enlightenment Institute, said.

“He knows he’s Tibetan. He also knows he’s American,” said Thomas. “But like the youth of today, he is also a global citizen, and he started that way for his age, his generation.”


The Associated Press video journalist Jessie Wardarski contributed to this report.

For Minnesota teen Buddhist lama, it’s faith, school, football Source link For Minnesota teen Buddhist lama, it’s faith, school, football

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