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Buddhist Retreat




I went to the annual Buddhist retreat in January. I was only able to go for three days this time although the retreat is a week long. This is when the lama comes to town to teach everyday (the main temple is in New York) and give empowerments (this is a ceremony which is like a blessing and an authorization to do a particular practice).


I really like this guy. I have watched him for three years. I have seen preachers all my youth and so-called religious people speak. He is different. He is very genuine and does not need theatrics. He speaks English but cannot pronounce certain English sounds. Its rather amusing sometimes. For example, he will say "Carnival Cruise" and it comes out like "Cannibal Cruise". lol. Anyway, after you listen to him for awhile you can understand most of what he says pretty well.


His name is Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche. The first and last words are titles. He has been in the U.S. for over 30 years and is about 60 years old. He does beautiful Tibetan calligraphy and poetry and writes profound books on Buddhism (of which I own a few).


The best thing he said on the retreat, and I am afraid you probably would need to have been there, was he said:


"You have all done something right." By that, he meant we have all done something right by just being there. For some reason that really struck me. Probably because of all the conditioning that I have had over many years that I can't do anything right. Isn't that the message of Christianity? When have I EVER heard a message like that? Never to my memory. It was the wonderful way he said it as much as the content. I felt again that I am at home, and that I have found a place.



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