Friday, June 13, 2008

A New and Longtime Friend

Elizabeth R. from Boulder, Colorado wrote to share this personal story of connection to His Holiness Karmapa and his first visit to America:
About ten years ago, when I was living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I happened one day to be browsing in a little bookshop (called The Noble Truth Bookstore) next to the Bodhi Stupa – both a part of the KSK Dharma Center.

My glance fell onto one particular book, whose cover featured a most captivating photo: a young boy in crimson and ochre robes, wearing a black crown with a golden diamond emblem, through whose eyes flowed a kind of power and clarity that caused me immediately to fall in love and awe with this unknown being.

The young boy was, I learned, the 8-year-old Karmapa – and the book, a rendering by Ken Holmes of his most amazing existence. I immersed myself in the book, and its wonderful photos – drawn back to it, almost magnetically, again and again. I knew that some day, somehow, I would meet this person – I simply had to!

When I learned that HH Karmapa was planning a visit to the very city in which I now lived, it felt like a miracle. My heart overflowed with excitement, joy and gratitude. I returned to the book, as food for an already blossoming inspiration.

Two weeks before His Holiness was to arrive in Boulder, he appeared in my dream, first as a red-headed and rather clumsy Caucasian man (which of course surprised me a bit), then later materialized – seemingly out of thin air – on the stage of the auditorium, and proceeded to offer his first Dharma talk, on the topic of “not being fooled by appearances.”

The night before His Holiness actually arrived in Boulder, I had another dream/vision, in which Karmapa had become inseparable from the Boulder Mountains and – as the mountains – was literally embracing the city with his extended arms. Then – twice – the image of rain – an intense downpour – a “rain of blessings.”

Then he was actually here, which was wonderful in countless ways. And then, for two days following his departure: intense rainfall here in Boulder – as though a parting gift of a dream become reality.

Now the memory – like a medicine more potent than any imagined – continues to nourish me, even as I write this account of nested dreams, and the precious opportunity to find myself at the feet, held within the Radiance, of a living Buddha: a new and longtime friend …

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