TENZIN ÖSEL HITA
A Different Way
for This Future Generation
TENZIN ÖSEL HITA
A Different Way
for This Future Generation
“We are bombarded by distractions, and it’s part of the design of the system – we always need to be doing something so that we don’t understand who we are, the mechanics, the science of our mind.”
“If you’re humble, you wouldn’t let the negative destructive emotions come in. For example, if you’re humble, you would never get angry.”
“We can learn about ourselves by observing the outside world, and every moment is an opportunity to learn.”
“How we learn to love ourselves is by appreciating who we are, by understanding our potential, what we can do, the power of who we are, how far we can go.”
“If we had compassion for ourselves, we would have compassion for everybody else.”
“Everything around us has been started and created by the mind. It all started as a thought. That’s how powerful thoughts are. So, that’s why to be aware of our thoughts, to be in control of our thoughts, is so important.”
“I don’t want to create followers, I want to create leaders.”
"You possess the path within yourself.”
“Your well-being will be linked to the universe, linked to karma and linked to the human mind.”
"The more you think about yourself, the more you are going to suffer. If you think about the person next to you more than yourself, all you have is happiness.”
"With each step, each thought, we are creating a whole new universe. Look into someone’s eyes and behold the window to their soul, the galaxy, the universe. That is us, that is you, that is me.”
“Every moment is magic, and we are all living the same moment! We are all connected. Thank you for being who YOU are! One Love."
Thirty-five-year-old Ösel is a 21st-century radical freethinker, humanitarian, documentary filmmaker, musician, father, friend, life-long-student, and a former Buddhist monk.
When he was just 14 months old Ösel was formally recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of Lama Thubten Yeshe, the revered Tibetan yogi, scholar, and teacher. He is the subject of Vicki Mackenzie’s acclaimed book, Reincarnation: The Boy Lama.
Today, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, which Lama Thubten Yeshe and his main disciple Lama Zopa Rinpoche founded in the early 1970s, comprises an international family of thousands of students and a network of more than 160 centers, projects, and services, now under the spiritual direction of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
“I’m very happy and full of admiration for the whole FPMT family,” says Ösel. “FPMT is doing a great job and Lama Zopa is an immensely special person – very inspiring and a great yogi.”
Ösel served on FPMT’s board of directors 2008 through 2013 and continues to attend teachings with Rinpoche and support the organization by sharing love, experience, and insight with the FPMT family around the world.
“There is no separation between me and FPMT,” says Ösel. “We are all working together in so many aspects and terrains. Humanity is our office.”
Enthroned as the reincarnation
Tenzin Ösel Hita Torres was born in 1985 in the village of Bubión at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, southeast of Granada, in southern Spain, to students of Lama Yeshe – Paco Hita and Maria Torres.
Ösel was enthroned as the reincarnation of Lama Yeshe in March 1987. In 1991, when he was six years old, he began life at Sera Je Monastic University in South India, where he lived and studied until he was 18. Ösel then decided to leave monastic life to explore modern ways of life and thinking.
“The experience in India was really good and so I appreciate it,” Ösel says. “There were times when it was hard to accept destiny. It was hard being treated differently, and feeling apart. But I am very grateful for this very difficult decision that many people made for me because thanks to that I have a big opportunity today to help many people. I’m always going to be available and at the service of people – that’s my job.”
Ösel continued various formal studies, graduating from high school at St. Michaels University School, a private boarding school in British Columbia, Canada. From Canada, Ösel attended college in Switzerland to study Western philosophy, human rights, French language, and art.
Always evolving, always trying to find new ways to connect with people, between 2006 and 2008, Ösel apprenticed under Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Matteo Passigato in Bologna, Italy. Ösel furthered his interest in film by moving to Madrid and studying for diplomas in Director of Cinema, Director of Photography, and Masters in Documentary Films at International School for Audio-Visual Media (EIMA).
Being Your True Nature introduces a new form of education pioneered by Lama Yeshe, Universal Wisdom Education: helping modern people access ancient psychological tools to help them lead happier, more meaningful lives – “the language that speaks to universal human experience at its simplest and most profound,” says Ösel.
Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow
Ösel has also taken courses in Communications at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California.
“Communication is the foundation for human relationships and life is all about sharing,” he says. “If you can’t share, then what is the point? Even the wealthiest people who have all the material things and have everything that they can have for lifetimes, what they value the most is time, health, and money.”
From California, Ösel went to UH Maui College in Hawaii where he studied organizational and financial behavior. Several times Ösel returned to continue his Buddhist philosophical studies at Sera Je Monastery with his beloved teacher Geshe Genden Choephel. (Geshe Choephel passed away suddenly in 2016.)
Ösel makes a point to also seek out non-traditional learning and creative experiences. Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow, he says.
Ösel has attended Burning Man festivals in the Nevada desert; learned to play the Djembe – music is near and dear to his heart; – has taken various cooking courses – “It is essential to have a healthy body in order to fully practice Dharma;”– and makes it a point to stay open, always open to learning from all of life’s opportunities and experiences.
Ösel even lived on the streets in Venice and Naples for a while.
“I actually did that kind of experience. I wanted to know what it was like to live on the street. I have many friends who live on the street and who have that kind of lifestyle. In my case it wasn’t really a choice. Well it was kind of a choice, because I accepted it. I didn’t run away from it. So I just kind of lived on the street for some time. It was very interesting to see how society sees you differently. Even your self-worth goes down because of the way society looks at you.”
Humanitarian and educational visions
There are many humanitarian and educational visions close to Ösel’s heart, including his One World Orphanages Project, which will aim to provide family, education, and support to the most destitute children in developing countries; creating sustainable Eco villages; planting millions of trees for Spain. Ösel will continue making documentary films and sharing his unique Being Experiences with people around the world.
In 2015, Ösel led a pilgrimage to India and Nepal, where he co-founded, organized, and volunteered with Revive Nepal, a charitable initiative to provide relief to Nepalese who suffered in the devastating April earthquake that year. A key project was building an eco-friendly earthquake-proof school.
Ösel shares his thoughts and ideas with the people he meets around the world – in coffee shops, Dharma centers, on the beach, in the mountains. This planet is his home, a place where we all have the opportunity to help each other, every minute of every day.
Ösel speaks fluent Tibetan, English, and Spanish. He is proficient in French and Italian and is learning Portuguese as his son is part Brazilian. He currently calls Valencia in Spain his home and has lived in India, Nepal, Canada, Switzerland, Brazil, and Santa Cruz and Hawaii in the U.S.
Brothers and sisters
“We are all a family, and we are brothers and sisters,” says Ösel. “Never forget this. Starting with yourself. You are your own best friend. You have to live with yourself all your life so better make the best of it. Don’t be hard on yourself. Be easy-going. Love yourself. Take care of yourself. Enjoy your own company without depending on external agents like intoxicants, which is just putting more samsara on the samsara we already have. Be present and don’t be unsatisfied, because the main cause of unsatisfaction means you are not living the moment. So live the moment. This moment. It is always the same moment. Okay?”
“You have to live with yourself all your life so better make the best of it. Don’t be hard on yourself. Be easy-going. Love yourself.”
Biographies and articles
- BBC News, “Ösel Hita: The Reluctant Lama.”
- Reincarnation: The Boy Lama, by Vicki Mackenzie
- Reborn in the West, by Vicki Mackenzie
- Forthcoming documentary, OSEL, by French award-winning filmmaker Anouk Burel
- Man’s Work, from Telegraph Magazine, London, England
- 1987 TV3 issued a documentary entitled Osel: the petit Lama
- 2010 RTVE issued a documentary entitled Osel, Granada Lama
- Ösel in Mandala Publications – archived articles