What's 2.3 pounds and challenges even the most diligent dharma practitioner?
The Kagyu Monlam Prayer Book.
The beautifully designed book, sporting the elegant Kagyu Monlam symbol in blue and yellow, is full of sacred and inspiring prayers. And "full" is the operative word in this sentence.
After admiring the book, the next challenge is to hold it.
Except for the lamas, who have tables for holding their books, the rest of the audience at the North American Kagyu Monlam needs to hold the book in their hands.
Over the last few days, a variety of styles of book-holding have emerged. There's the "elbow-tucked-in" style with the open book held in front of the heart; there's the "shift from hand to hand" method utilized by (ahem) people with less upper body strength; and the simple, solves-the-whole-problem method of letting the book rest in the lap.
Still others put cushions in their laps as book holders. One lucky person even brought a wire shelf stand for their books.
Whatever the style, it's a certainty that Kagyu Monlam participants are working on their physical, as well as spiritual, strength.