Jane's Mindfulness Journal


Monday, May 22, 2006

My Meeting with Tenzin Palmo

Below you will find a journal entry written November 7th, 2004 following my meeting withTenzin Palmo in Tashi Jong. Anyone wanting more information about her can comment here and I will get back to you. Also, in the previous post about Mindfulness, there are a couple of recommendations for books as well as a link to her website. Enjoy!

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Tenzin Palmo Posted by Picasa

It's still Sunday and back after going one more time to Naddi. but it's been a strange day and strange kind of feeling for me...abdellah actually complained to me that I am too quiet(!) today!!! I feel this strange sense of inner calm about me since yesterday's meeting with this amazing western nun who spent 12 years in a cave in retreat and has since become THE representative of womens rights in Tibetan Buddhism, and is now finishing the construction of a nunnery in Tashi Jong (which has already been running for 3 years, I believe) which is the first of its kind in Buddhism. It offers full studies to women including debating and all aspects of Buddhist study generally reserved until now for men only. I won't go into any
more details but she is highly respected by HH the Dalai Lama and has received his blessings for all her pursuits in this direction (although she says it is not of her doing and if it were up to here she would still be in retreat)....

Anyway, I will write a few words about what happened yesterday but nothing can really
capture the way I feel right now....it would be interesting to see if I can keep this
feeling of calm once I get home....

Saturday, 6th November-sitting outside the nunnery after having a light lunch following our meeting with Tanzin Palmo. We came up to Tashi Jong (about a 2 hour drive from McLeodganj), by jeep which carried Abdellah, Nicolai, Shachar, myself, and 4 russian ladies who spoke no english.
I came here with a question prepared (at the suggestion of Nicolai)...but didn't
need to ask. As soon as this amazing woman began answering questions from the others...I received an answer to what has been troubling me for the past 2 weeks or maybe longer. Truth is, I couldn't really put the problem into words anyway, and yet I received an answer which went directly to the core of the matter.
I received this answer without ever having to speak the question in words. It was enough that I had understood it in thought. Didn't quite know why I was coming today except it seemed interesting, after I had read the book about her when I first arrived here. But it is no coincidence that I lay awake most of the night pondering the question and towards morning asking for some clarification or direction.

Funny thing was, as soon as she said whatever it was she said, (to everyone sitting there it seemed) I was overwhelmed with tears of relief and joy (and this feeling has been with me ever since...it is now sunday evening) She looked directly at me and gave me a kind nod as if saying "yes, I know!".... Everyone else was firing question after question at her, which she answered with an emormous amount of patience and understanding, but it was as if she knew that the whole reason for the meeting that day was to "hear" my question and give me the reply I so desperately needed.

At the end I went up to thank her and she immediately took both my hands in hers, (she did this to no one else) even before I began to say anything...and then I thanked her for what she gave me. The strength and compassion which flowed simultaneously from her hands to mine was astonishingly powerful. She beamed at me...gave me a one arm around the shoulder hug and I was on my way. It was quite humbling to sit in her presence and feel her total awareness and assurance that all is precisely as it should be, without any sign of ego whatsoever.
Truly an amazing morning!

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