• Miguel Angel Cano Santizo

The righteous wisdom of the Lama


On the 7th day of my journey through Tibet, I arrived to a small village situated on the hillside of a mountain. A local approached me smiling widely, and without further ado invided me to come with him, showing me the way to a small street in the middle of the town where there were about a dozen people sitting on the ground and eating together from a silver pot. Friendly and with astonishing joy, they offered me food and drinks, while refilling each other’s bowls with delicious broth of traditional vegetables. After a while, a Tibetan monk showed up and invited me with a gesture to accompany him, and I accepted the invitation with pleasure. Every step that I moved forward with him since then, leading to his house, got me closer to meet the righteous wisdom of the Lama.

Tea was always warm thanks to the 2 teapots system

There were other two Tibetan monks sitting on a wooden floor in a small room, while the old mother of Lama put two teapots on fire of her woodstove to make sure that the tea that was offered to us had an optimal temperature at all times. After chatting for a couple of hours, the two guest monks left the house being watched by the host Lama. I took this moment to open my notebook and to start writing, sitting on a balcony windowsill of the dwelling.

The dusk already fell and several minutes later, without sensing his present before he was right by my side, the Lama put on the floor next to me a bunch of plants and a washbowl with water wihtout making any commnets. I intuitively understood his insinuation, left my notebook aside and sat on the wooden floor, undid the string tying the plants and started to immerse them into icy water of the bucket provided by Lama under his attentive look sitting quietly in a wooden chairjust two metres from me.

The Tibetan Lama

Cleaning each plant one by one by caressing them under silent and unalterable supervision of the Lama, the time passed turning such a simple and routine task into a delicate lesson of immense value and beauty. The moment I finished with the last plant, my host stood up from the chair and left the room, so as to return a few seconds later with a wooden table and a knife which he put at my side, before he returned to his seat on a wooden chair standing in the centre of the small room. Instructions or comments were not needed and now chopping the vegetables, again silence was the ideal mentor meant to convey such a precious wisdom.

Once I finished carrying out my tasks as a cooking assistant of the Tibetan monk, who hosted me, he took the already washed and cropped vegetables and began to cook them, keeping the silent atmosphere which was more than characterizing the scene. After about twenty minutes of frying the plants and cooking rice, he let out a cry with which, I suspected, he was calling someone. A little bit after his 4-year-old son entered the room.

Lama's son

The monk served us a little of food and again sat to observe calmly. Whenever we finished with the food in our bowls, they would be autoumatically refilled by the Lama, while his own remained empty. When finally we couldn’t eat any more because we were totally full, finally he stood up and filled his bowl with what was left.


I have always stood up for the fact that the most beautiful words are those which do not need to be talked about, a theory which in this case arose at its biggest extention after having the previledge to assist a masterful lesson of humility, respect and value, courtesy of the Lama who shared, without pondering, his righteous wisdom.

The most beautiful words are those which do not need to be talked about

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