Richard Gere Buddhist

Richard Gere, Hollywood Buddhist

American actor Richard Gere (whose real name is Richard Tiffany Gere), winner of Emmy Awards and Golden Globes, has another identity in the world of spiritualism, far apart from the rest of the worldly life and fame. He is a Buddhist.

Richard Gere and the Dalai Lama

Gere, who was raised by Methodist parents, began his search for the beauty of tranquility in 1978 when he was traveling in Nepal with a Brazilian painter named Sylvia Martins. Since then, he became an active supporter of his holiness the Dalai Lama who leads religious officials of the ‘Gelug’ branch of Tibetan Buddhism.

Tibetan Buddhism is composed of four principal schools, namely, ‘ the Nyingma (ancient) School’, ‘ the Sakya School ’, ‘ the Kagyu (Oral Tradition) School’, ‘ the Gelug (Tradition of Virtue, sometimes known as the ‘Yellow Hat’) School’. Tsongkhapa is the pioneer of this last born ‘Gelug’ Tibetan Buddhism school.

After spending around 20 years studying with Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu and Kadam (Oral Instruction) teachers, the concept of ‘Gelug’ came into being through the insight of Tsongkhapa in the early fifteenth century.

Gere scores high marks for sincerity of practice of Buddhism and meditates daily. According to Gere, it helps him set his motivation for the day. Gere thinks meditation may be the path to overcoming his narcissism. Therefore, Buddhism has become the opiate of choice for the U.S. actor.

Gere sets aside at least three-quarters of an hour a day for his ritual, rising at 4:30 a.m. if necessary because, he says, this introspective interval ensures him “a relaxed, stress-free life,” adding that “Almost all forms of meditation are a form of looking at the mind. At the start you are almost amazed how much noise is going on there. You have no idea how much monkey stuff is going on, how cluttered it is. You look at that and you’re acknowledging what the mind is, you’re taming it, and when you have done that you have learned the power of concentration.”