A few days ago, I learned that a beloved friend, and one of the most influential women in my path, on this journey in quest, had fallen ill. I was inspired to write a little bit about her, half hoping that someone at her bedside would read it to her. Of course it was my own ego, wanting to be recognized for loving her, but I believed that it was in hopes that she would know, for even just a moment, that she had touched my life beyond measure. I posted the story on a fundraising website that had been set up for her medical expenses. A funny thing happened… The comment disappeared. Not only my comment, but all of the comments.
At first, when I realized the it was gone, I felt as though I had offended someone, and I wrote to the person managing the campaign to apologize for possibly offending them. She replied and told me that she had not removed anything from the site. But before that, I had a little moment where it made sense that the ethers had carried my words to Wangmo’s heart, and that she somehow felt them. That, even though it was very likely that no one had read them to her, she heard me.
So I just continued praying. I prayed for her to heal and move back into her body and that it mould host her through a lot more of this journey. I prayed that however long it took for her to leave this plane, her time was filled with love and light and balance. I prayed that our Teacher Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche would find her — Here on this plane, and in the Bardo as well, as she transitions to her next body.
I just prayed.
For me prayer doesn’t bring me to the edge of my bed with hands folded before me. There is no begging, or worry, or attention on the negative, or a “problem” for an unseen god to fix.
Prayer comes from anywhere and in every moment if you let it, prayer consumes all things. To me, Prayer is holding light, holding love, visualizing perfection in a moment, of a loved one, the Universe. When I thought of my dear friend, she was, herself, in prayer. Seated in Lotus, immersed in the light that exudes from her heart. Sitting before her are her teachers. All of them, the ones I know of and the ones I don’t. Tara, in all of her forms, swirling around her like a ribbon, flowing in a translucent breath of wind. She is nurtured, she is whole, and is beauty in it’s rawest form. Karma Wangmo, Susan Albright, gave me such blessing. I can only wish to have enough to give back to her. I will do so by moving closer and closer to love.
That is the best I can do. I don’t know if this is “correct” or “right”, but it is what came and so I hold it.
Tonite, while on my mission to clear clutter from my home, and make space for creative flow, I came across a journal from 1992, written while traveling in India, not one year after I first met Wangmo-La. I found myself in many situations that could be considered dangerous, while traveling alone… a woman. I called upon her example of strength many times while on that trip.
The last two hours brought me back to a youth that I had forgotten I had been. I know that I was twenty three once, but I can see now, that I was so much younger then. I was naive and less interesting than I thought I was. The journal took me from Mcleod Ganj to Delhi, Bodgaya, Banaras and Kathmandu. I felt the me then and giggled, recognizing the work it took to grow to now.
When I had read the entire Journal, I looked at my vulnerability. The loneliness I chose to turn to “alone”, the love I craved, the fear, the strength, the tenacity I possessed, I closed the book and sat for a bit. I chose to take that experience for what it was, an opportunity to give thanks to those who put me on the path, those who led me down it, and those who traveled with me on it. Wangmo-La is among that family who I thanked as I sat.
Moments after shutting the book, I got the sad news that she had passed. Yoginis like her are rare, and her example will live with me for lifetimes.
Thank you Ani-La for your example, your strength, your wisdom and your grace. I will look to you unendingly, and if I am fortunate, your Higher Being will continue to bless me.
Prayers answered. Already, I have been blessed by her teaching in the form of an interview that I came across when I found that she had transitioned. And funny enough, it is Tsem Rinpoche! Tsem Rinpoche is a fantastic Lama, sharing the Dharma in a very “western” “progressive” way, but what I call, just being real about it… I first heard his teachings a few years ago and blew my mind with his straight forward manner. It only makes sense that he recognizes Wangmo-La on her path.
This day, I give extra attention to appreciating the value of a word, or a hug, or eye contact. I appreciate those who bless me with their hearts. I send out more love…
I am blessed, you are blessed, we are blessed, by more than we can see or even feel.
Om Ami Dewa Hri