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December 01
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JANUARY 24, 2009 8:08PM

What's Obama got in his pocket? UPDATE: PHOTOS OF BULGE

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As Barack H. Obama laid his hand on the bible to take the oath of office, he had a kata (silk scarf) blessed by his holiness the Dalai Lama in his coat pocket.   

Take a look at this closeup of Obama's right hand pocket.

Obama's pocket 

Robert Blum, husband of California Senator Diane Feinstein and a Buddist, saw Obama shortly before the inauguration. Blum had a white silk Kata which the Dalai Lama had given to him which he was to present to the President-elect.  According to a news release by Canada Tibet Committee, Blum relates what happened:

 "I offered it to President Obama before the ceremony. I said that I could get it delivered to him later. He said, no, that he was going to take it and have it with him; in fact, it was in his pocket when he was sworn-in."

Obama inspired us by speeches of inclusion rather than division--acceptance rather than stingy tolerance. This quiet and private gesture reveals the depth of his committment to these values. Further, this man who has stepped up to serve us in these most perilous of times, knows he needs the blessings and prayers of all our gods.


Obama had the Dalai Lama's scarf in his pocket during his swearing-in

Canada Tibet Committee


Photo credit:  The Boston Globe

" Barack H. Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States as his wife Michelle Obama holds the Bible and their daughters Malia Obama and Sasha Obama look on, on the West Front of the Capitol January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Chuck Kennedy-Pool/Getty Images) #"

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Just got this news from my cousin. How cool is that?
I am heading off to yet another party. (Caveat, guess which group I am in.) So, just leaving you with this heartening news...
This is wonderful. Everything I hear about Obama makes me more hopeful.
I'm thrilled to know this...
I like it that he's covering all the bases. It seems to be his style. Open minded. What a lovely and welcomed change.
You know, I really believe Obama is a genuinely good person, and I am thrilled that he is our president. But I worry, what will the presidency do to him? I guess he can use all the help he can get.
I am so touched to know that he did. Thanks a million for telling us. What a lovely symbol.
Very cool.

I thought you were talking about that pencil in his pants pocket! Or, was he glad to see Michelle? Hmmmm
Oh my ....that is just too fabulous.

I can get behind Buddhism in a big way. One of the few that made real sense to me.

Good good good! It's all looking so good.

thanks for the info!
what a connection steph; a blessing from the dalai lama at the inauguration. a beautiful portent i call it.
How cool is that! So glad to know this about him. Shows the personal depth and openness of this solid man.
The Bible in public and the sick scarf hidden in his pocket ... how symbolic. Sounds like he is a closet Buddhist ... never would have won the election had he let That one out of the bag.
Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddhawould roll over in his grave (if he had a grave - he was cremated) to see how Buddhisn has become a religion. He never intended that. To him it was a philosophical and spiritual exercise, leading to enlightenment, defined as the cessation of attachment and craving and therefore suffering.

Some unknowing people actually describe him as "the God of Buddhism".
o'steph - that is lovely

wayne - a philosophical and spiritual exercise - my understanding and experience of those who practice Buddhism do this as a philosophical and spiritual exercise -
hardly a religion in the American tradition of organized religion
Smile. Just another reason to feel happy, this week.
Glad everyone liked this news.
We are looking at good news every day now.
Great party--two fiddles, two guitars and a aflute and good company...
Great story. Lincoln's Bible and the Dalai Lama's kata!
Thanks Stephanie
This is way cool, o'steph, cool. I am in love with our new prez. Love. This just confirms it. this is good news to me.
What a wonderful touch. Thanks for letting us know about it.
he had a kata (silk scarf) blessed by his holiness the Dalai Lama in his coat pocket.

Or was it? Maybe he was just glad to see you.
Overwhelming. He is an exceptional human being. I have no other words.
Religion is what you carry with you. It made me happy to read about a literal meaning as well. Thanks for this.
What nearly everyone said. This is a wonderful image to add to the creative soup of evolving consciousness. Thanks very much for sharing this!

Including multi-cultural symbolism, blessings, etc. in the proceedings does not make one a practitioner of any one of the isms represented. It simply includes and embraces more possibilities and viewpoints. I really doubt that an open acknowledgement of a blessing from the Dalai Lama would have cost Obama the presidency.

The “cessation of attachment and craving and therefore suffering” sounds appropriate for our current situation.

Not only are there the wonderful symbols of Lincoln's Bible and the Dalai Lama's kata, but as I commented elsewhere, the oath of office was re-administered (in act of faithful execution) as a precaution, which clarified and realigned the awkward energy of the first try, and this second oath was taken without the Bible. Intentional or not, this too is a promising symbolic, and highly appropriate. www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/us/politics/22oath.html?_r=1

Thanks again for bringing this to my attention!
Friends of mine met with the Dalai Lama in Italy at the Parliament of World Religions, and he gave each of them a white silk kata, blessing the kata as he did so. Such a lovely thing to have shared what was given to her, and to hear it was open heartedly accepted. This is more than tolerance, it is acceptance.
Thanks for your wonderful take on the meaning of this and an answer to wildfeather's sounding of the old divisive politics. That is just the point, Obama is open and accepting to differences.
It is a new day dawning...
You're right...it was a bible free swearing in..ahem. Oh boy.
This is very cool. Is there anything, steph, that you don't know?
You know what they say, Jack of all trades, Master of none...
The universe seems to present me with news I just have to share...
cool! passing this along to Buddhists I know...
Thanks Silkstone and Michael.
It is very liberating.
Love that the second swearing-in was sans bible also.
How extremely awesome.
o'stephanie--thanks for sharing. I hope the scarf gives Obama good karma.

I just posted some bird photos for you at:

that is super awesome.
I like your take on "what you carry with you". Would have been easy, on a busy day, to have it delivered.
Don't frighten them off! I am flying over now to check it out!!
Thanks, Professor.
I love that Obama honors his holiness the Dalai Lama. He is truly a holy man for us all.
Is that a kata in your pocket, or are you just glad to see a new president?

Seriously, a lovely thing Obama did there. It says a lot.
steph, This is way cool. Obama is giving us so much hope.
Thank you
I like your version of the joke best!

Yeah, my cousin told me on the phone and I just got chills.
Those good chills.
I bet you did get chillis. I got chillis reading it.
Very cool and encouraging news, o'Steph, but what I want to know is how do I get invited to your parties?
This is just pretty awesome o'stephanie and just one more good thing to know about Obama! What genre of music at the party?
Roy and Pamela,
You gave me a laugh this morning.
Homemade music. The kind folks used to make when we weren't transfixed by TV and radio. Our friends (and hosts) make the folk music and fiddling circuit. Four musicians and three listeners in all. A lovely ending to what had been a pretty stressful day.
Music does knit up the reveled sleeve of care. And you can quote me on that!
More to like about the man.
Sending this update off to its two minutes of fame on the feed.
bumping for 2 more minutes of fame because it so deserves it.

Thanks Steph :D
Thanks, Natalie. I'm going over to fireeyes place. Great story there.
would have been even cooler if he'd worn it around his neck as it's meant to be worn. maybe he'll meet with the DL personally soon.

that would give me a pocketful of hope.
Stephanie, this was the funniest title ever.
And to think I was expecting something X-rated...

Wonderful post with the most clickable title ever!
Great song! Lennon... None better.
I think it says a lot about him that he did not wear it around his neck but held it in his pocket. The same reason that he did not sign out the Gag Rule on abortion on Wade and Roe day. He wants to avoid the appearance of division. Everything he does is thoughtful in this way. A diplomat like we have never seen in the White House.

I actually had some problems with it as I see Obama in this fatherly light--younger tho he may is. Full speed ahead!

Isn't that cool. I'm humgry for one of those Chicago dogs...
The thing is that he is so genuinely about unifying. He didn't talk this up as a sound byte -- it came out from other sources. The man's heartfelt coolness never ceases. Thanks for telling us.
Thanks, Seattle.
Yeah, it is definitely not for show. His depth of diplomacy is just what we need.
The Dalai Lama must have been delighted to hear it.
Thanks for finding this, Stephanie.
Always love when youshow up and I get to type our name!
This gives me such hope. hope in a pocket.
Absolutely great. Is this guy the coolest or what? Thanks o'steph. I'm already in love with him.
Thanks, Dickens.
Last night, President Carter said in an interview that Obama was the particular man which we needed at this hour.
Just wait 'til my pick-up driving, right wing, Palin obsessed inlaws hear about this one! They already think there was a secret plan for the first swearing in to be botched so that it could be done later ....WITHOUT A BIBLE!

They already are sending "SEE! SEE! WE TOLD YOU! " You-Tube tapes of Obama on ARAB TV...

It's Wednesday night and we have not yet been invited to the annual Superbowl party at my brother inlaw's place!

We got a late invite to Thanksgiving Dinner too...I think they were hoping we already had other plans...it was horrible too as during the entire meal, a meal I had helped prepare for two days , we were forced to endure a Fox Spews reshowing of an interview at Sarah Palin's home in Alaska....everyone had eyes glued to the giant tv set within viewing distance of dining table...ohhs and ahhs of undying admiration and true love for the "adorable girl, really" were sprinkled around the table like so much salt and pepper...we hurriedly gulped down slices of my " much effort put into them" pies and said our goodbyes....I believe they knew, even did it on purpose...especially since my husband's brother jokingly told us not to park "that car with the %##&^ Obama sticker" in front of HIS house!
omg, C gramma.
I am sending you a ticket to Oregon. You would feel so at home here.
Your comment is worth an entire post, girl.
Yeah, this story has been pretty quiet even for Buddists.
All for the best.
Obama said, "We will reach out our hands to anyone who is willing to uncleach their fists." We thought he was talking about terrorists--when he was talking about your relatives.
Hey girl! Seriously, We have been looking, on line, at mobile homes in a senior park in Brookings....only thing , I am major afraid of those Tsunami warning signs.
Okay o'stephanie, you are making me do it for real......Ineed a day or two but I will post that all too TRUE story...
Another reason to pray for and support this man at this time. Thanks O'Steph.
scared gramma,
After I post my picks today, I will come find you!

Yeah, something about this little story seems to mean so much....
He's the most liberated yet still traditional president of America that I've ever heard of. Just the silk scarf he had in his pocket could already tell us something. He ventures new and risky projects but he never fails to consider small things in all those runs.