Keeping the Dalai Lama Waiting & Other Stories – An English Woman’s Journey to Becoming a Buddhist Lama, is Lama Shenpen Hookham’s autobiography. It’s a lively and fascinating account of how a search for Truth lead Lama Shenpen to Buddhism and to be taught by some of the most eminent Tibetan Buddhist masters of our time.
At the request of her students, Lama Shenpen Hookham tells her fascinating and unconventional life story in the ‘Keeping the Dalai Lama Waiting & Other Stories’. The lively, anecdotal autobiography documents her extraordinary spiritual journey and her encounters with her teachers that are deeply profound, moving and often humorous. Lama Shenpen shares first-hand experience of how differing cultures and ways of thinking overlap and collide with unexpected consequences. At the heart of this book is a quest for truth – an ongoing discovery of the true nature of mind, yet as we discover, this is more about the heart in its deepest sense.
See below for recommendations from prominent Buddhist teachers.
Lama Shenpen – Interview clip 1 – on being used to isolation due to years of retreats:
Lama Shenpen on using lockdown to cultivate kindness:
Lama Shenpen on kindness as the whole of the path:
‘Keeping the Dalai Lama Waiting & Other Stories’ Audiobook read by Gabriele Reifenburg/Yeshe Palmo:
Audiobook Sample – clip 1
Audiobook Sample – clip 2
Audiobook Sample – Clip 3
High quality audio files available on request.
Recommendations for Keeping the Dalai Lama Waiting & Other Stories
“Lama Shenpen Hookham is not only a acclaimed scholar but also a well known and highly respected teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. She tells here the entertaining and inspiring stories of her extraordinary journey where she encounters some of the greatest Tibetan Masters of the 20th century.” – Ringu Tulku Rinpoche
“This is a fascinating personal account of a young English woman finding a connection with Tibetan lamas and nuns during and after the 1970s in India and Nepal. Shenpen lived in nunneries and Dharma centres and her story highlights her close relationship with several eminent Karma Kagyu lamas in Europe where she served as a translator. This includes her own inner struggle between life as a nun and as a householder. In time Lama Shenpen has set up her own community in Wales which presents the Dharma for Westerners in a way that is both authentic and yet relevant to the students’ own needs and cultural background.” – Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
“Lama Shenpen Hookham is an inspiring figure in the world of Tibetan Buddhism with her great knowledge of the precious Buddhadharma and mastery of the Tibetan language. Keeping the Dalai Lama Waiting chronicles some of the most exhilarating and compelling stories of Lama Shenpen’s extraordinary life as a Buddhist nun and translator for great Tibetan masters and her own rich spiritual journey. It is so wonderful that she has chosen to share these poignant and personal experiences. May they inspire and encourage others along their own exploration of innate wisdom.” – Her Eminence Khandro Rinpoche
“Shenpen points to the power of seemingly ordinary student teacher encounters, and how much transpires in intimate, tender, humorous moments of connection so central to the spiritual path.” – Judy Lief, Buddhist teacher, author & editor