Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dear Lama...

Dear Lama,
It has been a few months since we talked.i think of you during guru yoga and I remember how you told us to keep things simple.. It was strange we we talked because i felt that i would be taking up your time. I thought that I should have a spiritual question about what level of meditation i should be on. i guess that i wanted to be recognized as a person who had done some spiritual work.
What I actually asked was more ordinary. I don't even know if it was a spiritual question. I wanted to know what to do about these things in my life that made it so difficult to practice. It seems over the years that I've become so estranged from my parents, well they were dead and i had not seen them in twenty years. they just rejected me and said that i was never to come to their house that i was no longer a part of their life. What was bothering me was the sense that I had done something wrong and that I could never fix that.You said that above all that my problems were small and told me how your mother was imprisoned by the government and your brother died of TB. your parents sent you away so that you would not catch it but you were young and did not understand until much also spoke of Jesus and how he suffered and about the Dalai Lama and how these people had everything taken from them. My problems were small you said. and then you suggested that maybe my father wanted me to be strong and self reliant. maybe that is why he pushed you away. I thought that i told you about the child I had during my breif marriage and how the child died.but things were confused. I had other things on my mind that night. my mother was recently dead. y sister was quick to say how full of rage i was and there was the matter of my small inheritance, and the rather grand sum that my sister received. yeah, I did feel jealous, but ti felt that there was some falsehood at the bottom of it. I never mentioned her drug dealing, how she used the post office to mail drugs to another town as she traveled, or how she uses stolen credit cards to make long distance phone calls. You said that I should make up with her, because she is the only sister I have. I never mentioned that we were both adopted or that I have a half brother in Scotland. I made some efforts.She sent me a package full of Kindergarten artwork and some brass cuff links that belonged to a grandfather that i never knew. There was nothing that acknowledged an adult. apparently my parents had discarded all my landscapes and of course my library and records. One photo had a picture of the two of us just after my father returned from Japan. She was holding a beautiful doll which she later complained that mother had decided was hers. She asked what it was in my hand and i said an Ivory elephant.I asked if I might have it back and she said it was badly damaged, with a crack in it. I also asked about a framed painting of two dragons and a small token of Amitabha. but she had no recollection of those things.
I know this is cloudy painful stuff, but i wanted to be honest about it. I don't feel that i can develop much compassion if i am still caught up in the world of childish toys and things. i guess i just have to swallow pride and tell my sister what a wonderful person she is and constantly remind her that everything she did for mother was good and that she is a saint. I don't feel that way, but it sounds like she wants that validation from me.
I can't seem to shake the feeling that I'm not a good enough person and that i don't do enough prostrations or that my prayers don't have enough joy in them.
But then you say that I should find a stronger livelihood. I guess that means make more money. I make so little selling silver rings and bangles, i don't see how i'm going to do better with shells and driftwood as you suggested. I know that work will bring a better sense of self esteem, but i don't find a way to make work meaningful. It is always dependent on someone wanting something that they don't need.I' starting to feel sorry that i didn't become a doctor or a nurse. maybe i can go back into food prep. there is not much esteem in that but it is honorable. And teaching? how could I possibly do that? I thought I could when I was younger, but one bad job reference through me off that track. Teachers make so little anyway and the students treat them like dirt. It seems like every week there is a new scandal involving sex with students.Where were all these crusading reporters when my teachers were molesting me?
I know this isn't a very spiritual letter. This is just the stuff that buzzes around in my head when I'm not paying attention. When I meditate, i can see flashes of you and flashes of Tara. I can imagine a wheel of mantras radiating light out into the world and I can imagine Vajrasattva pouring light into me, purifying all the dark nasty thoughts.obviously i need to do more of that meditation.i don't meet with the Dharma group any more. I grew tired of all the harsh stares and bitter attitudes. If I can't pay money I don't feel welcome there.The ones who pay a lot, who volunteer on the board, they make sure that the rest of us sit in the back and well its clear that the practice doesn't work if one can't make a sizable offering. I've been told that i should practice on the beach or something.
So maybe someday i will be ready for this kind of Dharma practice, but i know i am not worthy of this group.
Till we meet again,
Yours in the Dharma


  1. if you think that everybody, everyone has the problems and obsticles in his or her life and practice may be it helps to understand yourself... and sometime we think, that MY problem is bigger, their suffering is nothing comparing with mine... this is actually direct way to have more suffering then you/we/all have now...
    I am not going to teach you, I myself have a lot of obsticles, made by myself, by mine own mind, that's why I feel like I know what did you mean in this post, very open...
    Dharma is also to have compation to ourselves, to understand ourseves and let the healing prozess go it's natural way, without pussing it too much... just keep doing it..
    May be I am mistaken but I see a lot of selfblaming in your confessional post... no one expact that you forgive everybody in one second...
    I am very sorry, that I post a comment here on the message to your Guru... but coulnd't help. because I myself and many other friends have very similar problems.

  2. Sesega,
    Thanks for your comment. I know what you mean. I do have a lot of self blaming tendencies. When I originally spoke to Lama about this he did say something very similar. The obstacle I had was that thoughts of past and family made it hard to make progress in meditation. I have all this anger still.
    The conversation was a long time ago, but some of the feelings are still there. Lama said to make friends with my sister, and I tried to. But I don't think that things will ever get "better" between us.

    My Lama here is really a vajra master but he is like a good friend to me also. I can trust his authority, but he does not teach me so much on a regular basis. Lama did say to me once that if i wanted to write then I should write something that helps people. I don't think I'm wise. I have obstacles too, so writing this was a confession of my problems. one kind of work that i can share.
    i do want to help otters with their obstacles but right here i can only work on myself.


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