The past couple of weeks have been light on meaty, project-related blog posts because I’ve been having some truly bizarre and upsetting obstacles that I can’t write about just yet. But, as often happens, we are surprised by shafts of light slicing through the storm clouds.
For example, my mother. As I’ve mentioned, Ma’s become a Buddhist herself and hosts a small group of her like-minded friends for Buddhist study and meditation each Tuesday night. They begin, Ma explained, "with prayers and dessert." My kinda crowd! One woman had been serving as a kind of facilitator but alas, things happened, and they have parted ways. So, through the magic of free PC-to-PC communication via Skype, much to their wonder and delight, I was able to join them direct from Outer Mongolia to Brattleboro, VT. We had a couple of technical glitches which limited what we could accomplish that night, but I was so tickled the next day when Ma sent me an email, which read in part:
“Thanks for last night. The ladies just love you. Please email 1) the gist of your reply to Joan's query about ultimate reality and 2) an explanation of next week's 10,000,000 day.”
Can you stand it? My mother asking for a recap so she and her lady friends can understand ultimate reality a little more clearly! It’s just the joy of my life. She'll think I'm being sarcastic saying that, but I'm not. Garbled response coming atcha tomorrow, Ma!
Then, today, I visited a small temple, Jangchub Tegchenlin, on the north side of town that has Padmasambhava as the main focus. I like the young lama, Shinen Denzel. I got this great pic by saying to him, “Listen. This is a Mongolian picture so NO SMILING!”
His mother is a lifelong Buddhist practitioner, having maintained secret ceremonies with her lama and a select group throughout the Communist years. It’s hard to convey how risky this was, how your entire social and economic world could have collapsed if you were discovered by the wrong people. She’s returning tomorrow from a long visit to Hungary. I can’t wait to meet her. We’re hoping maybe we can do our own rituals on the 10th and 25th lunar days in this temple.
And, finally, another cute shot of Miss Padma. This evening I found her deep in meditation, Princess and the Pea style, on the stack of four cushions underneath my altar:
I think I found the perfect taker for the kitten once it appears. But you know how I am. It’s gonna be a severe test of non-attachment to let it go, I’m sure. As it is, the wait is killing me!