“It wasn’t me, not my style.”
I was writing a very different narrative for myself at the time.
“Get a job, marry, start a family.”
58 year old me laughs to himself.
“Rinpoche read me like a book, my unpublished chapters.”
To be burnt after my death.
“I was convinced I would die like my father did.”
My father was 40 years old when he died.”
My earliest childhood memory is of my preoccupation with finding a confined space to quietly secret myself away in and to meditate.
“I began with cabinets, grew too big for cabinets.”
I finally settled on the space beneath the stairs in the basement.
“Rinpoche saw right through me.”
From the moment he set eyes on 22 year old me.
“My reputation preceded me.”
I liked to meditate, it came naturally to me.
“I saw in Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche a glimpse at life beyond death.”
My father taught me how to keep to myself.
“Self disclosure is always dangerous.”
My father taught me that I had a future.
“All the advantages of being born a member of the bourgeoisie was mine.”
If I wanted to sit in the basement under the stairs and meditate my father taught me to keep it to myself or suffer the consequences which would follow if I did otherwise.
58 year old me regrets not following it.
“The moment I set eyes on Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche I knew that I was fucked for life.”
I knew that Rinpoche, like my late father, was going to be a part of me forever.
“In college I had a mentor, Charles Lemert, a professor of Sociology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.”
He was a good man, wanted the best for me, but we weren’t equals, like I was to Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche in how he taught me.
“With Lemert it was one year into a masters degree in Sociology before I realized academia wasn’t for me.”
The 58 year old me regrets not going for a MBA instead, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“If my father hadn’t died when I was thirteen he would have insisted.”
I’m glad to not have to remember him like that.
“No real lama wants to become a lama.”
Rinpoche taught me that a lama isn’t reducible to causes and conditions, you can’t make someone a lama as such.
“Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche saw a lama in me.”
And for better of for worse, the rest is history.