When Pema Chodron met Chögyam Trungpa


Ani Pema Chödrön, one of the first western women to become fully ordained as a Buddhist monastic, met Chögyam Trungpa when her hair was long and her name was Deirdre Blomfield-Brown. Excerpt of her first encounter
So I had my interview and what I remember is that I set the tone by just chatting, chatting, chatting and not asking him my real questions, which were: “My life is falling apart, I’m totally miserable, and what should I do?” After listening to my chatter for awhile, he indicated that the interview was over. He and Diana were going to go to a movie. He stood up and I stood up and then I just started blurting everything out like [makes blubbering sounds]. He was so patient with me and so kind and I remember his answer so well, he said — and of course this is from my memory, so it’s not word-for-word, but basically he said:
Well, it’s like being in the ocean when the waves are really rough and high. They knock you over and you find yourself on the floor of the ocean with your face in the sand. The sand is getting in your nose and your mouth and your eyes and the waves are holding you down. But then the wave recedes and you stand back up and you walk until the next waves comes in and knocks you down and the same thing keeps happening. And each time you just stand back up and after awhile it seems to you that the waves are getting smaller and smaller.
Isn’t that great? I always remember it. To this day, it’s an ongoing teaching for me.

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