We can’t begin to image what it must be like to not speak for three years. To see only five other people and then only once every couple of weeks. To spend 1095 days being tormented by all of the thoughts that arise in our mind.
Last week was... it was probably the worst we’ve been in several years. We lost all hope, wanted to give up. Slept until we had to get out of bed. Drank every night. Watched plenty of useless TV. “Partied like a rock star.” We said we couldn’t go on being the person we had been before. We were tired of searching for meaning. “Look how easy everyone seems to be getting on with life. They don’t struggle every waking moment with their thoughts. Worry that bad seeds are being planted that will reap future disasters. What if they are right? What if this is all there is? What if karma, past and future lives — what if it’s all a load of shit?” We gave up. Stopped resisting our culture for the first time in several years. Stopped all struggle. It felt wrong. It felt off, but it was much easier.
On Friday night we made a decision that enough was enough. We had walked this road before and we know the final outcome. We see it in the eyes of people standing next to us in line. It’s not the correct way. They have not found ultimate happiness. Many have not even found temporary happiness.
We woke on Saturday like every other day that week; groggy, slightly hung over, stinking like a bar, desperate for coffee. As we checked the email we found our salvation. A letter from Roy at lamrim.com saying that the Easter teachings of Geshe Michael were now posted online. Geshe-la has been in retreat for two years. He only speaks once every couple of months and only then to teach the Dharma. He is blind folded the entire time to limit worldly distractions. We knew this would be the cause for a great revival inside of us. And it was. We cried, we laughed. We were terribly moved by his complete understanding of what it means, what it takes to be Buddhist in America.
He started with an amazing recreation of the last days of Jesus Christ. Very moving, very powerful. Then he told wonderful stories about people who have made a huge impact on American culture with their Buddhism. He told of every doubt we’ve ever had. Told of every struggle we’ve ever had. Told of every pain we will ever have. Then with the help of Master Shantideva, told us how we can continue. How we must continue.
posted @ 8:56 AM