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Not to sound overly arrogant… Despite the fact that I am a bit prideful… I am suffering from an over-flow of inner bliss. No, in general this situation would not be considered a burden. However, I know that this too shall pass, and as a result, I am aware that this blissful delight is temporary. Awwww! Also I realize that posting this information will make it pass more swiftly.
I have just been a part of the team sponsoring a high Tibetan lama (spiritual teacher) in Charlottesville. Thankfully there is a lot of support and assistance, especially when things started to melt down for me, which has been happening with greater and greater frequency recently 😦
There is a book entitled, “After The Ecstasy, The Laundry.” (Jack Kornfield) Perhaps that is what I will discover shortly. But let me tell you my story.
I first took refuge with Khenchen Rinpoche, Konchog Gyaltsen in 2006 at my first Tibetan retreat. He is the first lama I received extensive teachings from, and at present, it feels like I have a closer connection to him than I do to my root lama (Drupon Thinley Ningpo), which could easily have to do with Drupon-la and I’s slight language barrier (Khenchen speaks clear English, where Drupon’s is improving but is presently a work in progress). I suspect this will change, once I spend more time with the Drupon, and learn to speak Tibetan. And let down my guard around him. Details!
Fast forward through numerous Buddhist retreats, personal practice, struggling through academia and personal process work to the summer of 2010, now. In the past six weeks, I helped organize the Spring Retreat in Maryland at the Tibetan Meditation Center and then I took on the task of organizing these recent teachings here in C’ville. A part of me is still saying, “You crazy man! Don’t take on anything of this magnitude again! Especially when you have less than two weeks to get everything accomplished.” However, what I would presently reply with is, “Support is always there. You just have to ask.” I was / am always surprised by the way things mysteriously work out. Plus! I feel that I stretched and pulled myself to greater capacity. I am noticing my ability to speak my mind, my needs and feelings just flowing with ease. Including and especially with people who I had contraction around previously – YAY! Awesome. Something positive is occurring… I think… Time is valuable – be efficient, but above all, relax… This is the most important part about time being valuable – I need time in order to rest and relax and rejuvenate.
So yes, the teachings were incredible, like usual. Khenchen’s English is very comprehensible, and he often uses words that I have not learned yet, meaning I have to pay attention to what he is saying (no day dreaming or half-hearted listening). Of course, he is also great at pointing things out in layman’s terms, like, “If you plant the seeds for poison, whether or not you have understanding, poison is going to grow. Where as, if you plant the seeds for medicine, whether or not you have understanding, medicine is going to grow.” Awesome.
To top it off, in the course of a few hours, I went from feeling hazy about several topics to now feeling clearer and more focused. This includes where I am to live, what I am to do about work (you know, manifesting money) and how soon I need to worry about finishing school. So I now feel like I know much more than I did yesterday. Is that possible? Or is it just the novelty of being with Khenchen, which might wear off here in a little while? I must admit that stretching myself as the primary organizer comes with a few little perks – like getting to speak directly to Rinpoche (an enlightened being) about substantive matters, etc.
Anyway, he gave intense, potent instructions to those of us in the Charlottesville Ratnashri Sangha, advice which I feel is way beyond my capacity, he said, “You [C’ville Sangha] need to continue to grow and practice until all sentient beings attain unsurpassed Enlightenment.” Is that possible? How long will that take? OMG! I don’t want to think about that, however I now feel I must practice more on a regular basis. Surprise surprise! But now there is a good reason. So that answers the question about where to live – he asked me where we would practice now that someone important to the Sangha is moving. I told him the same place. Which means I am staying at my present location because I am going to be the responsible one. Wow. I just signed up for something else… Ugh… But at least it was for an Enlightened Being (wisdom being). If this paragraph does not make any sense to you, don’t worry, I can barely make heads or tails of it, but I am leaving it in here for who-knows-what-reason.
He also told me in an impromptu interview that I should job hunt to solve my financial situation (as opposed to doing practice and hoping bodywork clients manifest in greater quantities). I love how he is against “magical thinking,” and instead he suggests we take practical steps. I need that advice. 🙂 He said I need to let go of expectations – maybe my obstacles will clear up soon, maybe they will take a while and maybe they will continue indefinitely. But don’t worry – just let go – it will be okay no matter what. [This next section is my interpretation of what he said:] We have Buddha-nature, so be confident, sooner or later, if we continue to practice Dharma sincerely and maintain moral ethics and virtuous conduct, then we will create the causes to realize the nature of our mind-as-such (become enlightened). And the law of causality is one of those indestructible laws of nature – there cannot be a result without a cause. So long story short, that solves my working question. Time to start hunting. <Imagine Kirby on the prowl – for a job. While you are at it, please send some good job-finding juju my way. I want something dynamic and fun which uses my many talents, oh and preferably works with children.>
The only thing I am a bit hesitant about is when to finish school. Completing it is a must. It is just a matter of when. Well it is okay – again, don’t worry, be happy. I gained some clarity about a couple of pressing worries. So just be happy, don’t worry! It is my intention to finish my undergraduate work at UVA, despite feeling that it is pointless, worthless and that I am wasting my time being stuck amongst incredibly intelligent, yet immature 20 year olds… I am so not a “typical undergrad.” Wow! It’s nice to get that out “on paper.”
Good good good. More to follow, especially when I get home and put the pictures on here. Thanks for reading!