Leaving OM: Buddhism’s lost lamas

Before they could even read, they were hailed as reincarnations of Tibetan Buddhist legends in the vein of the Dalai Lama. Now young adults, these reluctant would-be spiritual leaders are stepping out of their monk’s robes, becoming rappers and moviemakers, and blowing the whistle on sexual abuse at Buddhist monasteries.

During a break in a mixing session at a recording studio in Milan, Gomo Tulku, a Tibetan-American hip-hop artist, plays the sample he’s inserting into the intro of his debut EP—a group of vocalists singing what sounds eerily like a Tibetan Buddhist chant. One of his Italian producers had it programmed into his …

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