You have a lot of students; how do you manage to stay in contact with them all, and what role do the Buddhist centers play in this?

Lama Ole’s answer:

Ultimately, it’s not about anything personal, but about people growing up and becoming independent. The point is that people understand that their mind is clear light. Then they become fearless, joyful, and loving.

We have grown a lot in the last few years. This is mostly because many of my students are now so good that I can trust them completely and send them around the world to teach.

I’ve founded over 600 centers and groups worldwide, which means I can’t visit each of them every year anymore. So it’s very important that our friends everywhere can lend a hand. I think what my students and friends accomplish in the centers is great. They are true idealists. We work with minimal budgets and have no fat-cat donors. A lot of what comes in from wealthier countries immediately goes to Russia, South America, or Eastern Europe to build up something there. Nobody gets paid for the work. Really, it is all voluntary and everyone does a very, very good job. That is truly impressive.

The reason we can all keep this bond and stay friends is because it’s about human development, where everybody experiences something and profits. It is a matter of healthy common sense. The point is to develop a bit of humor and joy, confidence, surplus, and strength, and to get the methods that make this possible.

It’s quite touching that all this can happen today in our materialistic age, that people work through the night without getting anything for it, knocking my manuscript into shape or sending letters to 500 people when only 50 respond. And I am very happy and proud to have gotten such a troop started. I’ll tell you, I really feel good about this.