The inimitable Lama Yeshe:

Lama Yeshe managed to surmount the language barriers and other obstacles, too. He strung together every English word he learned and added body language and pantomime, to talk with his new young friends from the West. Since his English was picked up from hippies in India, out of his mouth came the most improbable sentences: “Dharma is like American bed – everybody can join in.” “Change misery into blissful chocolate.” “Now you going to say, ‘He crazy, he Himalayan gorilla,’ but I say, ‘You check it out.’ “ “Question-answers?” He called everyone “dear,” and indeed he made each of his students feel that he or she was dear to him. He was always saying “thank you,” as though whatever happened gave him some reason to be grateful. Once he was driving in California – his car zigzagging down the road as he took in the scenery, oblivious to uninteresting things like stop signs – when a state trooper pulled him over. As the policeman wrote out the ticket, Lama Yeshe kept repeating, “Thank you, thank you, so kind.” (Fortunately, he did not call the trooper “dear.”)

Read more about Lama Yeshe from the Spring 2004 Tricycle.

Dharma to your inbox

Sign up for Tricycle’s newsletters

Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.

Liberate this article!

You’ve read all three of your free articles for the month. Subscribe now for immediate access to the magazine plus films, video dharma talks, e-books, and more.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Log in.