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November 3, 2009

Every once in a while...

You know, my move to California, lo these many years ago, was really a life changing event for me.

Both a mind blower and a mind stretcher, to be sure.

I never really realized how small my world was until I expanded the reach.

In the first several years I lived here, I explored a lot, and I learned to perfect the face that was outwardly calm, while inside my mind was shouting "HOLY EVER LOVING CRAP, DID YOU **SEE** THAT!?!?!?"

I didn't want people think I was a rube, so I learned to keep my shock and awe to myself, as much as possible. Though many times, my natural exuberance took over and it all burbled out.

I mean, in my time here in the big ol' Bay Area, I've seen some pretty wild things.

Ok, by way of example in the first six months living here, I saw my first true campy transvestite. At well over 6'5", she was dressed as Diana Ross. And spectacularly beautiful. And very sweet too, she was lovely to me.

I just didn't really get to see stuff like that where I grew up.

Over the years, a fantastically beautiful transvestite has become but one of an ever growing list things that has blown my mind.

So, this weekend, I had another occasion to have my mind stretched a bit, again.

On Sunday, I went to an event at a local spiritual bookshop. It was a presentation to be given by a Tibetan Monk.

(Yes, yes, I know transvestite to Tibetan Monk is a wild, weird shift in just the course of the first 280 words of this post. Stick with me.)

Ok, yes, so ok. You went to see a Tibetan Monk, blah, blah, blah, how very new age of you. So what, right?

Well, here's the thing. It was a very small event. And by a series of fortunate circumstances, I was given a seat in the front row.

For three hours I sat there less than five feet away from a genuine Tibetan Monk wearing red robes and speaking the Tibetan language.

I heard him speak of his personal experience of being imprisoned by the Chinese and brutally tortured for teaching Buddhism.

You can hear and read stories of torture. You can have a generalized knowledge that these things happen in the world.

But then when a real human being sits there before you and generously tells their story and shares their pain...well, ok, *pop* goes my brain pan.

I am not a practitioner of Buddhism, nor am I here to advocate any sort of political or religious agenda.

I'm actually more just talking from the mind of a little girl who grew up in New Mexico.

I was very touched and very moved by the talk given by this man. I also envied his inner peace and vowed to try to find but a molecule of that within myself.

I've faced some bumpy roads over the past year of my life. Been holding some anger for some people who have been less than kind to me.

When Phagyab Rinpoche said that compassion is the antidote to anger, I listened.

I don't have answers, but I do believe that your life is changed by all the people you meet on the road we call life.

That red robed Tibetan monk got me thinking. And thinking is good. Thinking can lead to healing.

I could use some healing.

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All content of Oh Fair New Mexico by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.