The story behind the Dalai Lama’s chair

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Lots of rock stars expect cushy perks at the venues where they perform. Requests can include special … Continued

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Lots of rock stars expect cushy perks at the venues where they perform. Requests can include special food and drink, music, video games and even a puppy to play fetch.

For the Dalai Lama, it’s all about the oversized chair.

Syracuse University requested the special seating for the spiritual leader of Tibet who spoke on campus Monday (Oct. 8), and it’s obvious he enjoyed the spacious accommodations.

As he should. The red leather and wood Stickley chair was made especially for him — three times.

Aminy I. Audi, president and CEO of the Fayetteville, N.Y.-based furniture company, explained that the first “Dalai Lama chair” was commissioned for a visit by the Buddhist leader to the University of Buffalo in 2006. Colgate University commissioned a copy of the same chair for a visit there in 2008.

Syracuse called Stickley recently to borrow the third, a copy from The Stickley Museum in Fayetteville for this visit, Audi said.

The chair is an oversized version of Stickley’s classic Eastwood chair, designed by Gustav Stickley.

“It’s an exquisite example of craftsmanship,” Audi said.

The University of Buffalo originally asked that the chair be enlarged to allow the Dalai Lama to pull his legs up and sit cross-legged, a position he prefers, Audi said. Moments after taking the stage Monday, that’s exactly what he did — untying his brown shoes and tucking his legs up under his red and yellow robes. He did the same thing for the afternoon panel and sat that way for all of both sessions. A Stickley moving van was parked behind the Schine Student Center late Monday to take the Dalai Lama chair back to The Stickley Museum.

The Colgate chair was originally auctioned for $25,000, but the donor gave it back to the school, Audi said. The University of Buffalo chair remains on the UB campus.

You may purchase your own custom-made Dalai Lama chair — made of quarter-sewn white oak and a carefully selected hue of red leather, Audi said. The price tag is $8,000.

(Emily Kulkus writes for The Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y.)

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

  • SODDI

    What did you expect? He’s the head of a religion whose founder practiced poverty and asceticism.

    Of course he demands an $8000 chair.

Read More Articles

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_37148347
What Is a Saint?

How the diversity of saintly lives reveals multiple paths toward God.

987_00
An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.