The Buddha in Obama’s pocket

A small Buddha statuette, given to him by a monk, is often found on Barack Obama’s person.

Rod Meade Sperry
28 July 2016
Obama, in White House video, shows the tiny Buddha statuette he  carries around all the time.
Obama, in White House video, shows the tiny Buddha statuette he “carries around all the time.”

A little something for Throwback Thursday: In a White House-produced YouTube video first shared on January 15, President Obama addressed a number of things — including what’s in his pockets. It turns out that, along with a rosary gifted to him by Pope Francis, a small Buddha statuette, given to him by a monk, is often found on the president’s person.

“Ever since I started running for office, people started handing me things […] lucky charms, or keepsakes, or things that meant something to them.” All of these items go into a big bowl, the president says, and he carries some of them with him “to remind me of all the people I’ve met along the way and the stories they’ve told me.”

Watch the segment in the video below, beginning at the 44:00 mark.

First published here on Jan 18, 2016.

Rod Meade Sperry. Photo by Megumi Yoshida, 2024

Rod Meade Sperry

Rod Meade Sperry is the editor of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Guide (published by Lion’s Roar), and the book A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation: Practical Advice and Inspiration from Contemporary Buddhist Teachers. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with his partner and their tiny pup, Sid.