Alex Wright


Sakyong sighting

March 19, 2001

so, jennifer and i were spending the morning over at the Berkeley Shambhala Center (where we help out one sunday a month). standing outside the meditation room in the front reception area, we unexpectedly found ourselves face to face with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the spiritual and secular leader of the Shambhala movement, and son of the great Tibetan master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.


the Sakyong was making an appearance at the Center to conduct an empowerment ceremony for senior Vajra students. we were sitting in the front reception area talking with Mick and Maitri, two fellow practitioners, when a great commotion of blue-jacketed Shambhala quasi-officials ushered in the Sakyong, who appeared in the doorway with an immediate presence that seemed almost to cloud every one else in the room.


for a brief moment, I caught the Sakyong's gaze - I was standing no more than four feet from him. he looked at me with a warm, firm, determinant stare - as if to say, "So." - and then walked on by. i felt like i'd just been sized up, and of course i had been.


it is a curious thing to look into the eyes of a guru. what you see is a reflection of yourself, as if you were staring into a mirror. looking into the Sakyong's eyes, I felt the presence of a heart big enough to contain us both.


the Sakyong walked along to his private chamber, and i sat there, feeling at once exhausted and deeply rejuvenated.


File under: Dharma

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