Saturday, October 17, 2015

Auspicious Lama Remembrances

Some Unusual Spiritual Remembrances...

- I just realized that my Buddhist teacher/nun (Venerable Lama Lobsang Chunzom) said a few years ago that I should be reading more sci-fi. It caught me off-guard because I had been reading a lot of non-fiction and political books. She said that the non-fiction was nice but that I needed to mix it more with fantasy. And now my first TV writing job is on a show that blends political satire with sci-fi.

- Shortly before agreeing to take over duties to raise money for a temple, she suggested/encouraged me to start dressing in suits. It was said lightly but -why the hell not- I started dressing up for things. I had no idea how I was going to get money though. I had never been responsible for raising any large amount. And then over the next three years I helped raised over $50,000 from angel donors as well as online campaigns. Most of the building debt was paid off with this amount.

- When I first met my Lama she said I should do a physical exercise. When I asked for suggestions as to what I didn't tell her that I had taken classes at Alvin Ailey and love to dance. I figured she was going to suggest something like yoga or calisthenics, which would be typical. But with almost no hesitation she said 'dance.'

- 'Go to the beach' was the repeated phrase before the three-year silent meditation retreat. It was slipped into talks jokingly. I thought it was some 'great metaphor' for life. When I started going home to South Florida to help out my parents I would listen to the old lectures. 'Go to the beach.' It suddenly occurred to me that maybe it wasn't that mysterious of a metaphor. Maybe I should literally 'go to the beach.' I have never been a beach person but I started going to the beach. It became a meditation point for me I met new friends, and people even gave me things without prompting. In one case I had just purchased beach chairs for Lama online and then I went to the beach where a Canadian couple asked 'do you want these beach chairs?' as if one with cosmic timing. This had never happened before and, of course, I took the chairs.

- Nicaragua was suggested to me and I thought it was a joke. I had never been to Nicaragua or even thought about it. But it was lightly slipped into a lecture where she suggested that would be a good place to meditate. A year later I found myself on the mountain beaches of Nicaragua doing a month-long silent meditation retreat. The trip was unprompted by me. I was, in fact, at a beach in Miami doing my meditation when I received an email inviting me to Nicaragua and to have my food and lodging taken care of for free. It was my first retreat, but not my last.

I don't know why I'm remembering all of this on a Saturday morning. I know I'm repeating myself but I feel the need to repeat some of these things, like a narrative mantra. And on this morning I needed to put it down somewhere for me to look back on later.

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