The Naughtiest Monk

By Jane Olivier
Currently in Mcleod Ganj, India

I am on my way to go tutor again. First have to pop down to the office and PA for the director. We have a lot of fun. These monks are hysterically funny. Well, tutoring English is hysterically funny.

Yesterday, as every day, we went walking and talking. Two monks, a Spanish young girl, their Tibetan friend and I. We decided to climb a hill. The one monk – Khenpo Pema – has excruciating English. We were climbing and I asked him if he enjoyed walking. His response: Yes, I must walk more, it is good for me. I have too much sex.

Well, a huge hole suddenly appeared in the universe. The world became silent, the monkeys ceased chattering, the wind stopped blowing, the trees bent closer their leaves rustling inquisitively … and the other monk started to splutter with laughter, almost falling over the side of the cliff.

I asked, “What do you mean you have to much sex? You are a monk, yes?”

Khenpo Pema, “Um, um, I have too much passion.”

And the mirth on the mountainside redoubled.

Jane, “Kenpoh Pema, what do you mean you have too much passion? What do you think the word passion, or sex, means? What are you trying to say?”

He pointed to his diaphragm – here it is often sore. He pointed to his head – and here also. Sometimes a lot.

Jane, “You mean you have too much stress! Not sex, not passion … stress or tension! You are a monk, you better not be having too much sex … or any for that matter, even if you are the naughtiest monk in the world!”

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Khenpo Tiga – Jane’s Usual Student

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Khenpo Pema in the Middle – the Naughtiest Monk on Earth!

I used to only tutor Tiga, now I have taken both of them and walk them hard every afternoon until at least 5. They are exhausted by the end, but we all enjoy our time together. Here is what the title “Khenpo” means.

The term “Khenpo” has at least three meanings in Tibetan Buddhism:

  • * Scholar who has completed an extensive course of study in sutra and tantra
  • * Senior Lama who can give ordinations is also called a Khenpo
  • * The head of a monastery

The Khenpos have been the main channels for keeping the purity of Buddha’s teachings alive from generation to generation within the Tibetan monastic tradition, acting as a kind of university tradition.

It is extremely rare for monks or Lamas to qualify as a Khenpo; there are thousands of monks, but only very few Khenpos. Monks who have studied for many years do not receive the title as a matter of course; it is bestowed in recognition of special qualities such as profound knowledge and extraordinary skill in helping to teach others.

In this way the bestowal of the term Khenpo recognises something considered rare and precious.

With that the whole afternoon took on this golden laughing glow. We walked for two hours, then they left me at my door. We were all still laughing. Pema said, “thank you for being so patient. I learn much from you.”

“It’s a pleasure.” He looked at me quizzically and I had to explain what I mean by “it’s a pleasure.”

I was giggling the whole night and then discussed his learning with his young American English teacher who packed up laughing.

We live, learn, giggle, outright laugh … and become enlightened.

~~~~~ _/) ~~~~~ _/) ~~~~~

By Jane Olivier
Reprint with permission
Jane is a world-traveler and a volunteer working with the Tibetan community in Dharamsala, northern India
Currently in Mcleod Ganj, India
If you’d like to received updates of her life in India, send her an email at:

Rick and I met Jane in 2010 when we were Marina Mazatlan, Mexico.
Since then, she has lived in Bankock, Thailand; Kenya, Africa’; Qubec, Canada; Main, USA; and now Mcleod Ganj, India.

She has dedicated her life to one of service and preforming random acts of kindness.

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