Rewiring the System

Finding the Seed

Posted in Uncategorized by rewiringangel on August 5, 2011
Tags: , , , , , ,

One Seed, or the beginning of my lucky lovely dance with Lati Rinpoche

Washington, New Jersey, tucked in at the most northern edge of the Garden State, had a congregating center for the living legends of the many schools of Buddhism. In this mountainous region, the unmarked single lane roads curve and climb far above the hustle of the small town, the air is crisp, clear and vibrantly fresh. The property was purchased in the late 1950’s when the area was even more rustic and none of the roads were paved.

I started attending meetings and weekends in the 1980’s.  A wide variety of people came regularly, either Friday or through Sunday and stayed in the dormitory. Local people just came on Sunday morning.  The large congregation fell into different levels of commitment and acceptance.  There were a few very advanced students, who are now famous for their work both as leaders, writers and professors. More were a large number of beginners and hangers-on, and a few serious struggling students. Men and woman came week after week, actively choosing to use this time to work with their mind and heart and try and pry off the covering holding the meaning of life.

I almost always came to the center alone. I did not know any people who were actively seeking information and guidance about crossing the threshold into the arena beyond the waves of desires: Greed, Hatred, and Delusion.

The Lama’s were infinitely patient. Some weekends the monks would actually ask one or another of the friendly enthusiastic attendees to sit at their table for lunch. The spread always included SPAM, thickly and irregularly hacked right from the can. It was lovingly presented with the grace and beauty of a regal spread at a fine Mediterranean Palazzo.  Bright orange Kraft Velveeta, SPAM, tomatoes and pickles in concentric circles plates to feed the more than fifty.

I was so young and naïve, I didn’t realize what special attention I was given, when often, I was asked to sit at the right hand end of the long raised Teachers Table.  All of my questions were answered directly; I was included in conversations with teachers and was invited to their table to eat the midday meal with them.  The questions I asked were the sort a person who was making the first move on to the riser on the long and winding stairway toward understanding Love of Life.

Frank Sender, bless his soul, told me he was going to this place in 1967.  I did not understand most of Frank’s stories about sitting in a circle around a small Mongolian man. Frank said that this was the only truth-speaking, non-aggrandizing teacher, who had the interests of his students over self-interest, he had ever met. Lama Wangyal represented the best of the Three Main Lineages of Mahayana Buddhism. (insert names of Linages: G, N, K)

So, up I went to Washington, New Jersey. I drove from Princeton NJ in the comfort of my maroon Audi, in the effort to start to train my mind. I wanted to understand that the foot of the table was not the whole table.  Just like the trunk of the elephant is different from the whole elephant but all the individual parts are still elephant.


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