For many years I had wanted to write a “thank you” to all those upon whom my path towards Awakening has depended. In 2011 I finally wrote the following to express gratefulness to those individuals. The writing of it was inspiring in itself, connecting me with that ‘rejoicing in the good’ which is gratefulness: perhaps it will inspire you to unearth your own chain of connections.
The Path is a Chain of Connections
Is it true that we choose our parents?
If so, I chose well – I chose freedom:
from Christian views, from living by rules,
free to think for myself, to be who I am…
Thank you for freedom and fairness.
We all need a model of kindness,
someone who loves us for no special reason,
the warmth of the sun in the darkest of seasons.
“Dear Auntie Hilda, I’m writing to thank you
for something you gave me that’s timeless…”
What sparks you to start on your Journey?
In my case the first words of sense I heard:
Alan Watts on the “taboo against knowing who you are”
I remember you only as Sue Who Died,
thank you for wisdom that stirred me.
Choose wisely when picking your friends!
I’ve always had ones I admire, like Benny,
in 6 months laid up with a broken leg
he set his life-course to be helping others,
and I took his lead in the end.
One friend leads to another…
through faithful friend Flee I found Richard and Flow,
who led me to Lam Rim, and Geshe Damcho,
and Shanee who showed how my future could go:
one debt on top of another…
I celebrate Dharma connections!
With Yeshe Dorje, with C R Lama –
I wake up to find I’m already a Buddhist.
Chögyam you showed me a life built on Dharma.
I now have a sense of direction.
You don’t always know what hit you…
Tibetan-ish english I strain to decipher
was not in the end what I had to be there for
to feel the full force of Avalokiteshvara.
Dear Geshe-la, I salute you.
What joy – a Dharma companion!
We lived in a school and we both had our teachers,
the Buddhist marriage of Five and Caro,
patiently ploughing our parallel furrows:
we each had a path to depend on…
Bodhisattvas come when you call –
he rode into town like a Dutch Lone Ranger,
his kid-glove compassion and gun-totin’ courage
taught me as much as his hard-won wisdom.
Erik, since you I walk tall.
Power flows through connections,
like beads on a mala: the Dalai Lama,
the 12th Tai Situpa, Mr Goenka,
in verse Shantideva, in song Milarepa:
empowering my sense of conviction.
When the Student is ready, the Sponsor appears!
One does the practice, both get the punya.
Ziji’s support was much more than a sponsor.
Once biding her time as my partner in Dharma,
now taking her rightful place here.
A Guide on the Path is essential,
A Spiritual Friend to give oral instructions,
bringing the Lineage into our language,
living the Path – Lama Shenpen, my thanks for
revealing my highest potential.
We all depend on each other:
we share the same goal and we practise together,
living our Dharma we teach one another
I thank my companions as we journey further,
my sangha of sisters and brothers.