Delightful, Daunting and Dependable Jobs

D is for… Dalai Lama!

The Dalai Lama is the political and spiritual leader of Tibet. Here is a picture of the reigning 14th Dalai Lama:

Dalai Lama (photo credit: Christopher Michel)

Born Lhamo Thondup on 6 July 1935, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was publicly recognized as the successor to the 13th Dalai Lama in 1939, and assumed full temporal (political) duties in 1950 at the age of 15.

The Dalai Lama currently lives in exile in India, due to Tibet’s political struggles with China. Although he stepped down as the political leader of Tibet in 2011, he continues to travel the world, teaching and speaking on a wide variety of subjects, including Buddhism, the welfare of Tibetans, economics, environmentalism, nonviolence, science, and women’s rights, among many other topics.

The most interesting aspect of the Dalai Lama’s job is its basis in reincarnation. You see, the current Dalai Lama is always found, rather than chosen or appointed, as with most political leaders. As this article in The Guardian explains, the Dalai Lama is said to possess the power to choose which body he will reborn into. Thus the job of his followers is to discover his new form through successive generations.

As John Oliver explains in this video, it’s a bit like an eternal game of Hide and Seek!

Another important part of the Dalai Lama’s job, as he says in this interview, is that he “practice[s] taking others’ anger, suspicion and distrust and give[s] them patience, tolerance and compassion.” What a wonderful thing, to be able to turn negativity into positivity, and redirect this flow of energy and emotion. Pretty cool, no?

The Dalai Lama is also on Twitter, sharing messages of peace, hope and inspiration @DalaiLama.

There Can Be Only One

Since there can be only one Dalai Lama (and this particular Dalai Lama suggests that he may, in fact, be the last in this line of spiritual leaders), here are some interesting alternatives for those with aspirations of spiritual leadership:


  • Bodhisattva
  • Lama – not to be confused with the Dalai Lama (a title), this refers to Tibetan Buddhist teachers
  • Sensei


  • Chaplain
  • Clergy (bishop, cardinal, priest, pastor, senior pastor, assistant pastor, minister, rector, associate rector, elder, director, deacon, youth pastor, youth minister, choir and music director)
  • Mission or Ministry Leader
  • Monk
  • Nun
  • Preacher


  • Guru
  • Swami
  • Yogi


  • Imam


  • Cantor
  • Rabbi

Other Religions

  • Daoshi
  • Fetish Priest
  • Itako
  • Kannushi
  • Medicine Man/Woman
  • Priestess
  • Shaman

Further Reading

Related Films

Other Delightful Jobs That Start With D

  • Dancer
  • Dentist
  • Diplomat
  • Doctor

Want to learn about even more cool jobs?

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