Why Bother? An Introduction

Why Bother? An Introduction

Book 1 in the Ancient Wisdom for Our Times Series

A Path Worth Taking


Lama Tsomo sets the foundation for understanding the Tibetan Buddhist path, illuminating the essential context needed to benefit most from our time in practice. Progressing through the Buddha’s story and her teacher’s, Gochen Tulku Sangak* Rinpoche, Lama Tsomo shares fascinating and inspiring stories that set the stage for the practices to come in later volumes. With this fresh perspective, we wake up to an expanded awareness of ourselves, the path, and what it means for our work in the world.

A Path worth taking
A Path worth taking


This book, the first in the Tibetan Buddhist practice series, includes:

  • A foreword by H.H. Dalai Lama
  • A concise retelling of the life of the Buddha
  • Lab-tested, scientific findings which relate to the Tibetan Buddhist worldview
  • Accessible writing filled with humor, compassion, and personal insights from a Western master teacher invested in sharing ancient wisdom Resources for guided meditations, studying Tibetan Buddhist wisdom, and finding community

Essential Groundwork for
Tibetan Buddhist Practice

Starting with the core beliefs and perspectives from which Tibetan Buddhism emerged and became today’s teaching and practices, Lama Tsomo takes us on a journey with her practice series — from the basics through more advanced practices. Forthcoming books will share accessible instruction in the foundational practices, illustrating how they progress and build upon each other.

This method of unfolding the teachings and practices step-by-step ensures you can benefit from their full potential, as the Buddha says, for yourself and others.

Book 2: Wisdom & Compassion (Starting with Yourself)
is available now.


Why Bother - Ancient Wisdom For Our Times Series

Dive into Why Bother?
An Updated Classic

Previous winner of the Independent Publisher Book Award under the title
Why Is The Dalai Lama Always Smiling?, Why Bother? is the perfect place to
start for those curious about Tibetan Buddhist meditation and those interested in the full path.

Keep Learning

The Journey Worth Taking

Wisdom & Compassion
(Starting with Yourself)

Book 2 in the Ancient Wisdom for Our
Times Series

Wisdom and Compassion book
Wisdom and Compassion book

Experience Deep and Vast Connection

Deepening Wisdom, Deepening Connection

Book 3 in the Ancient Wisdom for Our Times Series

What People are Saying

“Lama Tsomo builds a beautiful bridge between Western culture and one of the most sophisticated ancient spiritual traditions on Earth. Newcomers to Buddhist philosophy will find her voice comforting and compassionate; expert practitioners can still learn from her elegantly precise observations.”
Martha Beck, Life Coach, Columnist, and Author of Finding Your Own North Star

“This beautiful book offers step-by-step guidance in accessible practices, as well as a rich array of stories, scientific perspectives and ways of dealing with challenges that arise on the path.”
Tara Brach, Ph.D., Author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

“This book is excellent and would be helpful to a lot of people who are keen to engage with Tibetan Buddhism seriously as a practice and a way of being in the world.”
Thupten Jinpa, Tibetan Buddhist Scholar

“This highly readable, extraordinarily informative and practical guide by Lama Tsomo, and American female lama, is sprinkled with detailed and specific instructions in Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices and with concrete suggestions for promoting happiness and well-being.”
Richard J. Davidson, Founder Center for Healthy Minds Wisconsin-Madison

Features a Foreword from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a
Recommendation from Gochen Tulku Sangak Rinpoche

I have no doubt that Western readers who wish to deepen their understanding of Tibetan Buddhist practices will find much to interest them here, and that members of other faiths, or even those who have none, will enjoy this.”
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

“For the benefit of Westerners who are beginners in the practice of Buddhism, Lama Tsomo has drawn on her own knowledge of Western and Eastern ways of thinking and devoted all of her efforts to writing this current work, in order to provide a bridge that will forge a connection between these cultures.”
Gochen Tulku Sangak Rinpoche, Namchak World Lineage Holder

About Lama Tsomo


Lama Tsomo is an American lama, author, and co-founder of the Namchak Foundation and Namchak Retreat Ranch.

Born Linda Pritzker, Lama Tsomo followed a path of spiritual inquiry and study that ultimately led to her ordination as one of the few American lamas in Tibetan Buddhism, under the tutelage of Gochen Tulku Sangak Rinpoche, international holder of the Namchak lineage. Today, she is dedicated to sharing the teachings of the Namchak lineage with Western students. She is especially passionate about reaching young people and supporting those working for positive social change.

Lama Tsomo holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Jungian studies. She is the author of Taking a Breath: A Meditation & Reflection Journal and The Lotus & The Rose: A Conversation Between Tibetan Buddhism & Mystical Christianity.

A Note on Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling?
Why Bother? An Introduction primarily consists of the first half of Lama Tsomo’s previously-published title, Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? The second book in the practice series, Wisdom & Compassion, shares the second half of Smiling. These new releases are the first two books in her comprehensive practice series, Ancient Wisdom for Our Times. Lama Tsomo is excited to share these redesigned and updated books, giving you insight into the essentials of the Tibetan Buddhist path.

Note: While there have been some updates to the text and design, Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? is still a valuable resource for students especially those interested in the updated content and collecting the matching series.