When making decisions in our Buddhist centers or groups, should we always ask the lama or simply make the decisions on our own?

Lama Ole’s answer:

If it concerns the meditation practice, you should not make any changes independently, because that has been determined by the Karmapa. But the way you communicate it to people can vary from case to case. Everybody can do that following his or her abilities and feeling for the situation.

When there are bigger decisions on an everyday level—for example, who should move in to the center—then of course you can ask if you’re unsure. But if those who lead the center have a clear idea, they can also decide by themselves. Even if it does not work out permanently and the newcomer moves out after a few years, he might be useful while he is there and could bring in some good influence.

My goal is for everybody to become independent as quickly as possible. Whenever someone can learn something in any area that will round them off and stabilize them, I advise them to do it. Self-reliance is the goal. But now and then, one might ask the lama if deeper insight is needed. But if one already knows what one wants to do anyway, then one doesn’t need to ask.