I Would Happily Change my Name to Jane

My life and times dealing with bipolar II disorder

Friday, March 30, 2007

A Kick in the Pants

I dreamt of H.E. Chagdud Rinpoche,a Nyingma master, last night. He was a child, but he looked the same as all the adult photos I've ever seen of him. It's one of those duality things that happen in dreams. Like when you dream of someone who is supposed to be your brother but really looks like the mail man? Only in this dream the duality was Rinpoche in both forms.

It makes sense. There were rumors about his rebirth a year or 2 ago. This dream I had was not a prophetic dream, there is nothing special about me that I would have dreams about Rinpoche that meant anything in the grand scheme of things. It was just a dream.

I have been struggling with faith for quite some time now. Since last August. When everything started to fall away, I began wondering what was the point? It was hard work, and practice kept bringing up waves of things I could not face or deal with. I no longer found practice as a source of comfort, a source of refuge.

It was much easier being a Protestant. Growing up, going to church once a week and major holidays. It was a cake walk. Only I did not believe was I was told. I could not make sense of a Father that I was repeatedly told would protect and reward if you followed the rules just right. I followed the rules perfectly; I was an ideal child. But I could not stop what was happening to me. I tried to intervene on the behalf of my youngest brothers, but it did not change things. How could I have faith in a savior that would not even help my 2 and 3 year old brothers? It was what broke my faith as I grew up. I still went to church until I was 17; I was expected to. But I could never regain the trust required to have faith.

I didn't come across Tibetan Buddhism until my late 20's. It was the missing puzzle piece for me, and I fully embraced it. I was so innocent and naive walking in, I had no idea how much work is involved. I didn't mind. The past 6 years helped to peel back and whittle away a bit of the obscurations I carried around. Yet the past 7 months has been one of the biggest challenges for me. As my practice struggled, I watched things slowly slide back. Small things. The things that first fell away when I began practice. It was a big red flag. It's not like there is a "point of no return," it doesn't work that way. But I've been feeling like I need to put up or shut up. That I need to make a choice either way and move on from there.

The dream of H.E. Chagdud Rinpoche last night. He spoke in Tibetan, I had no idea what he was saying. You may wonder why he would be so important to me. I am a lay practitioner, but I practice his lineage teachings. My Lama was a student of his. She is one of a handful of female Lamas in the U.S. The practice texts I use were either written by Rinpoche or brought from Tibet and translated by him. To me, he is the embodiment of Guru Rinpoche.

It feels like this was a proverbial "kick in the pants" that it's time to get on with it. So I am.