So what my guru means to me, or is to me, is near impossible to describe. More than a mother, more than a father, more than a friend or a lover. A feeling where all questions are answered, satisfaction is instant, where I can love and accept myself and in general life is simple and clear. That seems a lot, but as I said it is near impossible to describe. The bond with my guru is the most precious thing I have in this lifetime. My husband and children know it very well (probably they have the same feeling themselves about our guru) and luckily they don’t hold it against me which makes my life much easier.
Having met him when I was 13 years old, I don’t recall the exact details of our first meeting. It is not with me anymore but the feeling of belonging and coming home are more than facts. So to try and piece facts together, I can only recall that one of my aunts, the one whom I love most, called my mum and me and told us to come to this teachings of this Buddhist lama. I don’t remember if I was nervous to get there or how and what we talked about on the way there. Nothing…it’s simply blank. But I remember one thing that I had to buy a heart shaped turquoise stone to gift him. I do remember we arrived and that after my world was never the same.
I must have entered the room and seen him,right away, and we must have gone toward him to be introduced(but I might be telling you facts forged by the memory only). So I presume my aunt introduced us and I gave him this turquoise hart. What I do remember well is that my mum mentioned I had a big heart, and he corrected my mum saying I had a warm heart. I remember I stated crying and did so for the larger part of his teachings if not the whole while. He didn’t let go of my hand all the while during his teaching so I was forced to sit on the floor in front of his chair sobbing and all in front of a relatively large crowd. That was the first time he let me get my past my shame.
What happened after the teachings I don’t remember either. There was some talk of my hypersensitive being as I had some clear abilities like clear hearing and clairvoyance and some other forms which were in no way useful to me at that point in my life. He suggested to barricade all ,until and unless I knew how to brake down that barricade myself, as it was of no use anyways to have these abilities they were only a hindrance. So he performed a ritual blocking all supernatural entrances of my being and I could go back to being a somewhat normal child.
In this Holland trip of his, I was allowed to tag along and so I joined my aunt and him on a week long stay in Tilburg where he, as a full fledged Tibetan medical Doctor & Healer, held medical consults and there my heart opened further. After watching him a week long talking to clients I knew for sure I would become a Tibetan doctor and would go to India and study Tibetan medicine and would become a great western Tibetan medical doctor. Such grand dreams this girl had.
Anyhow how my life turned out to be is not the book I want to write. To illustrate how these men all changed my life very strongly or I let them change my life is what this book is all about. So at thirteen I became a Buddhist, or so thought I was …
Having a guru is in no way easy at all, as the task of a guru is to help you transform your ordinary mind to an extraordinary mind. His task is to liberate you from the ties of your ordinary happiness and perception and to turn them into skilful means and inner liberation. So whatever he encounters inside of you he will use and try to help you see it clearly yourself. Whether you still have something to let go, change, accept and separate yourself from the un-useful convictions we seem to be born with, and seems to have cultivated life after life.
In our case (this Guru and mine) and I’ll call it “our case” as there is no doing only from his side independently, or from my side alone for that matter, that will bring about change. In fact it always depends on the interaction you have with others. Also reaching enlightenment depends very much on the merits we create, and merits can be mainly gained by helping others. So liberation is team work and a guru is, like a rudder, getting you to see clearly what still has to be done.
Sometimes the fact, that it is clear what is to be done, is very painful and strangely liberating in itself but painful nonetheless. So the relationship I have with my guru is one of many dimensions. The love is always there but I can feel irritated and angry and conflicted about meeting him…only clear signs I am looking and blaming something outside of me whereas I should be looking inside.
Our relation is also joy, and deep love and deep understanding and a clear sing I have all the abilities to actually achieve this liberation and bodhisattva thingy.
When I have been to visit him, or whether he has been in Holland for teachings or meeting him anywhere else for that matter. I always come back better, stronger more softer and with more love for others and myself.
Of course he can also unleash a series of feelings in me, not that nice at all, but I know after 27 years they are necessary to see reality more clearly. To see my patterns of mind and where I cling in attachments to mental habits and convictions, which hold me back.
The outline of this chapter was meant to be filled with anecdotes, illustrations of what I have written above. And I guess in the book when deepening out this relationship I will surely put some of the most powerful and intimate stories I received whilst getting guidance from my guru.
Realising there is mystery shrouding a guru disciple relationship but I feel maybe in this era we can start to tell our own stories of what it means for us westerners to have a guru in a mainly strict Asian tradition, the strictness is actually a means through structure and convention to liberate the mind and be free from all conventions.
I was lucky to have met him at such a young age and am often reprimanded by newer student (this lifetime mind you) when I say things like: that once he leaves this body I’ll be at peace with it. I’ll know where to get my teachings, or to get solace from the teachings and know that merely the ceasing of his physical body does not sever our bond. It is meant as an encouragement, offered when others are talking about his imminent disappearance among us his students, but often it is, and I understand, met with disdain and a feeling of not having had enough time with this precious man.
They dread that day and can’t see what I already know and feel. They are on their own path on will walk it on their own speed but will come to the same conclusion moslty over time. But to whomever reads this and has a bond with a guru like I do: Know that a guru vows to bring you to enlightenment and never gives up. In this ay and age that doesn’t happen overnight anymore and therefore he will seek you out life after life to get the job done. So for a while you might feel lost but he is there for you.
He lately reminded me that once he passes it is easier for us students to feel his love more powerful in our hearts and remember his words and teachings. He is more able to pass his particles around and help us.
Anyhow this man so clear and bright and loving has brought me the world of good whether I asked him about more mundane or supra-mundane issues he always has a solution that befits me and my life in all it’s facets.
Trusting him and therefore myself and be done with the mental affliction of worrying is a thing I have to practice daily but more and more I can see what the promise of liberation holds for me and in fact for everybody. It might be far off for me , but it looks more attainable now after 27 years where my guru helped me getting enough glimpses of its true-ity.
Ok long story short – My guru, I know, loves me more and truer than I can, at this moment, love myself. Who sees my full potential and forgives each and every mistake with the promise of my inner being’s capacity to turn into a Buddha. And what is true for me counts for every sentient being!
I never met a more powerful and loving man in my life. Powerful because you know and feel he has control over the elements, he is able to maintain inner peace and happiness at all times and nothing can disturb him. You feel this all-knowing quality as he shines bright and beautiful. His appearance is not that of a tall dark and handsome stranger it’s rather opposite. But I’ve learnt through him to see the inner beauty in myself and others more quickly, that it shines through no matter what you look like, real kindness and love for all is felt no matter what.
For a fact I can see my own transformation as a living testimony that you don’t have to be very attractive and beautiful or successful for others to see the love and happiness you hold in your heart for others. A love and happiness that is more permanent and less depending on factors of the outer world. People feel they can trust this in you. That you won’t let them down so easily, that it isn’t so fickle as the mind normally is. That’s the great advantage of having and following a guru however hard it is sometimes.
Much Love – Radia, The Unusual Yogini