Traditional teachings, modern style

The High Buddhist Lama stops in Minneapolis during his North American tour.

Skydiving. Fast motorcycles on curvy roads. Clubbing. Global travel. All are things that most modernñday adventurers know all about. Buddhism’s timeless wisdom. Something that most modernñday adventurers know nothing about. In Lama Ole Nydahl, a Buddhist master from Denmark, one can find this unique juxtaposition. While he does enjoy the intense experiences offered by extreme sports, his main interest is guiding people toward deep, enduring stability and freedom.

On May 17 the Diamond Way Buddhist Center Minneapolis will host Lama Ole Nydahl at The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis. Lama Ole will give a public lecture titled, “Meditation: Science of Mind,” followed by a Q&A session and a short meditation.

In these politically and philosophically charged times, people increasingly are engaged in a spiritual search.

In a direct and humorous style, Lama Ole Nydahl teaches an inspiring and beyond-cultural application of Buddhism. His lectures provide incredibly useful tools for turning the challenges of everyday life into opportunities to develop lasting happiness, joy and compassion. Known for his modern and practical approach, Lama Ole offers teachings that are timeless, yet relevant to our contemporary lifestyle. The transformative methods of the Diamond Way Buddhism provide deep understanding into the nature of Mind, and help us to use this knowledge to create and maintain a meaningful view of the world.

Lama Ole also will provide instructions on meditation, the method by which we gain a direct experience of Mind – a wisdom beyond concepts. Meditation is a tool to develop compassion, joy and fearlessness, which can help us to be comfortable and helpful in every situation. In addition, science has shown meditation’s benefit to mind and body, and has been the subject of many articles appearing in such diverse magazines as Scientific American, National Geographic, Time and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Lama Ole’s background and history make for a dynamic and inspiring teacher. The son of academics and members of the Danish resistance, he was a student of philosophy and a member of the 1960s counterculture when he and his wife, Hannah, became the first Western students of one of the greatest Tibetan Yogis, the 16th Karmapa. Inspired and empowered by the 16th Karmapa, Lama Ole circles the globe twice a year, inspiring students from Siberia to New York. He has been teaching in a different city almost every day for the past 34 years and is one of the major forces in bringing Buddhism to the West and beyond. He inspires thousands of people at his lectures and retreats throughout North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Israel. He teaches fluently in Danish, German, English and French. Together with Hannah they have founded about 500 Diamond Way Buddhist centers in 48 countries around the world.

Lama Ole was asked to be the Buddhist representative at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and is actively sought as an authoritative Buddhist commentator on world events and social issues for BBC News and other media outlets.

Lama Ole Nydahl has given numerous print, television and radio interviews, and is the author of seven books translated into the many languages of his students: “Entering the Diamond Way” (1985), “Ngondro” (1990), “Mahamudra” (1990), “Riding the Tiger” (1992), “Teachings on the Nature of Mind” (1993), “The Way Things Are” (1996) and “The Great Seal” (2004).

There are 31 centers in the United States, which operate under Diamond Way Buddhist Centers USA,

a nonprofit religious organization. The people running the centers are lay Buddhist practitioners. Many work full-time jobs and have families while integrating Diamond Way teachings and meditations into their daily lives. Members share responsibility for guiding group meditations, answering questions and giving explanations about Buddhism; their work is unpaid, and based on idealism and friendship.

With change and uncertainty becoming more prevalent in today’s world, I think more people are looking for methods that can bring unconditional happiness and inner stability.

Local practitioner Jody Rader sums up the High Buddhist Lama with “After meeting Lama Ole Nydahl my perspective on life dramatically changed. Being present in every moment and knowing that difficult situations are not so personal, but a means for growth, is a refreshing way to experience life.”

Contact the Diamond Way Buddhist Center Minneapolis at (612) 825-5055 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Eugene Trak is a member of the Diamond Way Buddhist Center. Please send comments to [email protected]