Monday, August 29, 2011

On the Power of Wishes

After spending over two months on the road, sleeping in tents, bathing in public showers which rarely had any hot water, eating what's available, when it's available, focusing and concentrating on meditations and teachings, going to bed at odd hours and waking up too early for leisure; the past week in Budapest has been more than a welcome time to relax, recovering lost sleep and indulging in the luxuries we normally take for granted, such as bed, hot food and tea or coffee on demand, as well as hot private showers.

It has also been a time of discoveries, discovering this time not a new city or retreat center, but a man, and my relationship to him. I must confess that my silence over the past week is also a reflection of all the emotions that have been revealing themselves and that I've hesitated to share because of their intrinsic intimate nature. But a writer's job is to expose and disclose feelings and emotions in ways that helps readers to identify with them, and to recognize themselves in the tribulations experienced by the writer, and to maybe understand themselves better, or ever so hopefully, to learn something new, to have a spark of recognition and feel somehow wiser because of what the writer dared to share. So in spite of much hesitation, I've decided to come clean, and to continue to write with honesty and candor about my perceptions of life as it evolves within.

Now I must take a step back, back to the days before my trip, back to San Salvador and the times when I was only wishing for all this adventure to unfold. And well, my ticket was purchased, my itinerary somewhat organized, and my relationship with Waldo finished. Whatever remnants of love were in my heart still, attached as it was to a loving, kind and funny lover, the relationship per se was gone and I basically held no real hopes of recovering it. Whatever little wisdom my mind had gathered in the past had taught me to understand and accept that when things are over, we must let go. And although my heart still beat quite strongly for him, my mind knew better than to restrict hopes of happiness to him.

So here I am, planning my trip, dreaming of the Lama, of the Karma Guen mountains, and of the Hungarian retreat center (the only two places I was supposed to visit at that time), talking to my friends about my plans, hopes and expectations, and besides the main absolute wish of settling down in Europe and build a life for myself and my family, there was one other very clear wish. I wished for love. For a tender, gentle, honest love with a man who would share my values and vision of the world, a man on the Way, on my Way, on the Diamond Way.

All along this trip that has taken me to 9 different countries: Belgium, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Slovakia my mind has been set on making wishes. At the circunambulation of every single Stupa that I have been in these past 2 and half months, my mind has focused on making wishes. At the Gompas in every center, my mind has made wishes.

Most of my wishes have been directed to the benefit and welfare of others, such as we've seen in previous posts, wishing for Waldo to find love and happiness, wishing for Sofía's father to be liberated from all suffering and being happy, wishing for my friend's happiness, for my mother's health and my children's well being, as well as for my lama's long life and strong health, and for those who still long for a loving partner.

But I have also made more selfish wishes. At every step along the path I have wished for my move to Europe to happen without obstacles, and for me to have the conditions of moving here unhindered, and to settle down to a good, stable life. I have wished for work and prosperity, in order to create the conditions for this European life I so desire, and to bring my children to me as soon as possible. And, of course, I have also wished for love.

Wishing for love has been the hardest. I found it strange to not have any specific man to focus on, but also quite liberating, since I was then free to request all the qualities I deemed important. And I did. I asked for a man to love who would love me in return. I asked for this man to be young, but mature; I asked for this man to be a Buddhist, and an inspired student of Lama Ole; I asked for him to have a job, and to be the kind of man who works; I asked for him to be good looking, reliable, sensitive and funny, and kind to me and other people, I asked for a man who would be friendly and whose friends I'd like, I asked for a man who would desire me, and with whom there would be sparks all the time, but he would also be sweet and tender to me, and would love me in the ways I like being loved, I asked for an uncomplicated relationship, but a committed one as well. I asked for this and probably much more, and it all came down not so much to the man, but to the good, happy, stable relationship we'd have.

Then in Lolland, after the weddings, I came to Lama Ole and spontaneously asked for his blessing "so that I can find a partner to share my life with" I almost spoke without thinking, the yearning of my heart came forward, and my Lama knew it came from a deep, deep place. A place that knew of fear and disappointment, but that still believed. He held me in his arms ever so strongly and as he put the Gao on my head and over my back, on the heart center, I could feel the strongest blessing until then. My eyes filled with tears and I could barely speak. He then asked me quite seriously "Do you like the Nordic type" and I manage to babble "I am not choosy" to which he quickly replied "You should be! You are a magnificent woman, you should be choosy!" I then gathered enough wits to respond "I am Lama, but with qualities, not nationalities" and we smiled at each other, content.

I often went to the Lama again, at E.C. and Mangutovo, but this time, my request was different "Please Lama make wishes that I can stay in Europe, make wishes that my visa is extended." and every time, the same loving certainty in my Lama's eyes told me I shouldn't worry about anything. The Buddhas are on it ;) The last time I saw Lama Ole, I wasn't alone anymore. I had found myself a man (as the lama himself told me smiling). The last time we both saw and spoke to Ole, he gave the both of us together a very strong blessing.

Well, a couple of nights ago, after spending yet another perfect day in beautiful Budapest, I looked into the eyes of this man I found, who's the only reason I am here at all now, I looked into his eyes and was amazed to realize he is everything I ever wanted, even if I never expected it. I realized he has the qualities I was searching for, and he treats me lovingly, as lovingly as I could ever wished to be treated, and that our relationship gives me as much joy and warmth as I could hope for, and that - as I've said before -  in his arms, I feel safe.

I cannot know what the future holds for us, I don't even know if I will be able to stay in Europe after September 11 (yes, the date is dramatic as well, adding to the intensity of the situation), but he is doing his best to help me, and that is beyond anything I could hope for. I know everything to be impermanent, and I know the time we've spent together so far is short. But I know my heart, and he knows his, and, as he whispered to me the other night, "Maybe the Lama's wishes were not only for the visa... Maybe they were also for love and happiness..."

And most likely... they were.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mangutovo, Mangutovo, Mangutovo

Dharma is about being here and now, fully in the present moment, and I have truly been living like that this summer. A clear example is our decision (Carina and myself) to travel to Mangutovo. As I return from Schwarzenberg, she tells me she has had an idea, but I am off for coffee and a chat with my beloved friend Joan Paul, so this has to wait. Finally, at 22:00 with a few other friends, the decision is made, we rent a car and head to Mangutovo tomorrow morning.

To say that the trip was a good one would be a lie, I was uncomfortable, hot, I ate too much and felt generally irritable, although happy to be soon again in the Lama's power field. Let's just say this sort of experience is oddly and perversely reassuring: I am still human, haha!

Finally, after an extremely long drive for our poor Georg, we made it to the wild forests surrounding Mangutovo. At that point I was repeating like a mantra "mangutovo, mangutovo, mangutovo..." And we were suddenly there!!!! Already the lecture was over, but our friends were at the Cafeteria having a drink and making bonds. I was immediately amazed by all the friendly faces from all past courses, and at least 10 people from Latin America were present!!! What a great development that we are able to come to these remote retreat centers. We decided to sleep in the Gompa and wait til the morning to set up our tent.
The morning after was spectacular, since it was night time when we arrived, it is just now that I am really able to appreciate the beauty of this place. We are in the Slovak mountains, and the view is magnificent! The sky is the bluest shade of blue and the sun shines on us, it is a true summer and you can almost grasp at the joy in the air. In the showers I meet Magda, from Poland, who sat next to me in the EC Gompa. We rejoice in meeting again and she exclaims joyfully "All the homeless people!!!" After all, she is right, we have been on the road for over two months, sleeping in tents, traveling by accident or mere chance, meeting over and again the same friends who also live on the road. We joke at the fact that the both of us are indeed homeless and basically country-less. She might move to Germany and my heart is set on Prague.

I later move to the Gompa, I am more motivated than ever to practice. I feel an ocean of peace inside of me and all I want to do is ride the wave of motivation and meditate. This place is full of good impressions, it moves me to practice and I open my booklet and relax on the Purification Buddha's image that I build over my head. I AM COMPLETELY HAPPY HERE AND NOW.
Soon we'll see Lama Ole and the thought almost makes my heart jump inside my chest. I focus on the crystal Buddha and let thoughts go. Suddenly I feel the urge to get up and put my things on the Blessing table. I quickly understand this is just another distraction, and I should just let it go. I return to the meditation and peacefully enjoy it.

As soon as we arrived I started to ask all of the Hungarians on how to arrange a ride to Budapest on Monday, but space is scarse and my only sure thing is driving out Sunday afternoon with Adam, but I say no. I want to be with the Lama, the Sangha, and I trust Space. I will go to Budapest on Monday.

The lectures start... I am so happy to see my lama again. I feel so different than I ever felt before, I feel the unlimited field of possibilities opening to me, to really be of benefit for others. Suddenly a smile is no longer just a smile, it is much more: appreciation, openness, willingness to be useful and help. I see how I have moved from having a very small life to living a large life that commands inspiration to finish my Ngöndro and to be of service.
I meditate again the day after, I want to be worthy of my teacher, of my friends on the way, of Buddha's teachings, therefore I must purify my mind of all laziness, stiffness and rigid opinions and structures. I want to be open, like sunshine,and thus be useful.

Lama Ole says: "It is always a practice of what is possible"

That night, I have a beautiful surprise. G. comes to me. I am happiest. I knew I would get to Budapest on Monday, but didn't expect it would be like this. Space is again generous beyond measure. Although I had decided to go see him in Budapest since my stay in Schwarzenberg, I must confess a subtle hesitation inside of me, it is not an easy step to take, but here he is meeting me half-way and all things fall into place. Again, he makes me feel safe.

Monday comes finally and we must leave. Mangutovo is all over my heart, I don't want to go. We go into the Lama House to visit the Gompa which will be inaugurated tonight. Latzi gives us the tour, showing us all the beautiful statues and tsa-tsas. As we come down the stairs I see Lama Ole is having dinner on the terrace and decide to say goodbye. He takes me in his arms, more gently than ever. His tenderness numbs me, and G., who is with me, also feels the same, we get an amazing blessing, he talks to us, tells us to always be friends and enjoy life, he holds our heads tightly to his forehead and speaks to us gently, no matter how hard we try, we cannot remember afterwards what he said.

As we walk towards the flags, G. whispers "I am still shaking from the blessing". So am I...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting better

Most often than not, we meet new people and immediately let the engine of our concepts and fixed ideas run, categorizing our new acquaintances without really stopping to think about it. We believe we understand things, when actually it is simply our mind making constant judgments on everything, based on our imprints from the past. With men it goes something like this:

1) Possible/potential lover (green/yellow light)
2) Possible/potential stalker (red alarm)
3) Friend (green light)

Once a man is on a girl´s list, the category will very rarely change, except for the worse in the cases where a man falls down from list n°1 to list n°2, but list n°3 is usually comfortably stable.

Much has been said on the subject that men and women cannot be friends, yet throughout my life, from my earliest childhood memories to the latest happenings and occurrances in my recent travelings, I´ve found the opposite to be true. Men have always been an important part of my mandala, and I don´t mean romantically.

From my earliest friend Philip, with whom I walked home from school and escalated parked cars pretending they were mountains, to David, my best friend roaming together the streets of Paris, and Arnoldo, my highschool very best buddy, hours on the phone, laughing like crazy and sharing all my secrets, to the many more than came to my life as time passed: Ota, Polo, Gilles, Joan Paul and others, more recently during this trip: Kuba, Szabi, Peter, Stephan, and others I´ve already wrote about in previous posts... Male energies have always been friendly to me, have helped maintain the balance when there is no special person in my life, and have given me good times and patience, and have helped me analyze the men I am interested in as category n°1, while I have also imparted some feminine wisdom for their benefit.

I have always been quite strict on not disturbing the categories. It always helps to be well organized, to know what to expect and to keep at least some things predictable. If you know that this man is your friend, then you somehow feel safe around him, safe from inappropriate flirting (on both parts!) and safe because a man is such a wonderful energy to surround ourselves with. Strong, protective, gentle and kind, these male friends have made my life better for as long I can remember, and I am a strong believer and supporter of the male-female friendship bond.

The night that I met G., instead of opening up to him impartially and getting to know him, I quickly decided he looked the flirting type and fell therefore in the category of men with whom I should thread carefully. But I also noticed how friendly and kind he was, and the following day, he remembered my name and greeted me in a friendly way, so after a few more conversations I decided he was a really nice guy (although a flirt) and warmed up to him. Let it be known that I was going through strong purifications, as you might know if you're a faithful reader ;). When we met again upon my arrival at the E.C. I was totally happy to see him. I was also charged with all the blessed energy from Lolland and the recent events in my private life and my heart was open, I could open up to him on a new level: friendship.

I also got the feeling that his energy had also changed a bit, he seemed more relaxed, happier, and therefore kinder and fresher. From the very first day/night at EC he treated me with an absolute generosity, and I could appreciate his qualities and simply fell into trusting him. From that very moment, his presence felt like a balm of safety whenever he was around. His readiness to smile, to share his stories, our talks in fluent French, my native language, his gentle attention... well, he won my heart over in record time. But we were friends.

I mean like good friends. Friends you just know you can count on, friends to share secrets with, honestly, shamelessly even... very quickly my appreciation of his many qualities grew. Talking to him came naturally, and his company became comfortable happiness. He is a friend I feel safe around. A good friend. A noble and trustworthy friend, and this opinion I have of him has only increased after he moved into another category in my heart. He is still my friend, my comfortable, natural, happy friend. But now he also is the man I am falling in love with.

Ever so subtly one night we both knew things had changed. And now they´re only getting better.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Yesterday was a day for many adjustments, standing up from my wounded pride and facing my disturbing emotions, and realizing that I myself planted the seeds of the cactus that I was sitting on, then quite happily understanding that there was a great protection allowing me to see this purification happen so fast, and then making a conscious effort to ensure the link remains purified of all negative imprints from now on.

I also opened a door that brought me to new horizons and opportunities. I remembered my Lama´s words "A Buddhist doesn´t believe, a Buddhist has confidence". And I did. I never knew what was behind that door, but I acted on pure confidence. My reward was much more than I can understand right now. But this comes later.

As for today, we had the White Tara Initiation. She is also called the Wishfulfilling Wheel. Rinpoche said that if we practiced this meditation, we´d be able to avert all obstacles in our lives.Very seldom have I experienced such profound meditation. Rinpoche is just wonderful, his laughter melts my heart and makes my eyes wet. I feel his kindness is limitless and an energy field of pure love surround all of us in his presence.

In yesterday's initiation I remember a moment in which all wars and struggles were pacified, I fervently made wishes for my heart to be pacify, and today, during my meditation I am White Tara, and am surrounded by thousands of White Taras, and even this man I was angry with yesterday is Perfection in White Tara. We are all Buddhas, and I smile at the beauty and perfections that surround me.

I know we shouldn´t discuss our meditation experiences, and it truly is not my intention to do so, but this was so strong and powerful that I cannot remain silent. I need to share.

With my eyes closed I let Sheralb Gyatsen´s words guide me and became the beautiful and pacifying form of the White Liberatrice, after a few breaths, everyone around me was also White Tara emanations and we all radiated with love and kindness. There was nothing to hold on to, nothing to achieve. Simply white loving light and the energy of four thousand friends on the way absorbing the power of the loving female Buddha.

I made strong wishes to pacify my heart and simply melted in the joy that so many could share this bliss, that so many of us enjoy the beauty of the Dharma gifts, the motherly Liberatrices, the red Dakini in powerful posture, Mahakala´s protection, dwelving in the Pure Land, melting in Loving Eyes, and expanding overflowing love in the Mandala Offerings... Yes! We are so many... and yet we are one.

Alchemy is the art of transforming something quite ordinary into something quite precious. In this case, the joy and the unconditional love experienced by my teachers filled me like a vase being filled with crystal water. I cannot hold on to negative thoughts, I can only surrender to the highest view, I am the highest view. I am the highest love.

And that´s how the most amazing thing happens. I fall in love.

Friday, August 12, 2011

In the Lab

Very good. So I am now starting where the chapter called "Butterflies" left off, there I spoke of a blooming connection and of being open to whatever opportunities and gifts life would decide to bestow upon me.

Well it didn't take long to manifest. (I am actually smiling inwardly because today is the Long Life Buddha Initiation, and I see that I always undergo strong purifications when an Initiation takes place. It's interesting, that's all.)

Anyway I committed myself to not shy away from the experience and I didn't. I gave it my all, my best, being who I am, and feeling gratefulness and generosity towards a special man. I realize that through countless lives I've interacted with countless beings and therefore sowed countless karmic seeds that were sometimes positive and sometimes (I imagine most of the time) negative. I cannot doubt the intensity of this encounter, since it shook my ground quite deeply. So much so that I was, since the beginning, struggling against very subtle feelings of fear, so subtle as to be difficult to detect, but they were there all the same.

I see the need to work on my intuition, that I still don't trust, and which told me from the very first moment that this man was a bit funny, and that it might be good not to come too close, in spite of the strong attraction I felt. But things being the way they are, I couldn't resist myself and although I knew better than approach him and go directly looking for trouble, I was totally incapable of resisting him approaching me.

So once you make this decision, once you open a door to someone, there is simply not going back, because if you inwardly say "Ok! I'll trust you", then you've made up your mind about letting somebody in and allowing him to see you. And that's what I did. The connection was profound and quite beautiful, honestly. I cannot pretend to have had anything as strong in the near past, or before Waldo. I found him kind, gentle, funny, delicate even. Concerned about me, my thoughts, my friends, and I opened up.

Until suddenly, he himself turned on the lights, and I had to rub my eyes strongly, eager to protest for the brutality of the wake-up call. He did so himself, in a way that I still have problems with and that I'll just call "Very Bad Style". I was quite angry at him last night, when it happened. And could feel all my disturbing emotions coming to the surface. But I am no longer theirs to play with at will. I am stronger than that and can actually stand the rain while I move to distance myself and look at what is really going on.

Last night, in the blur of anger, I focused on everything he was doing wrong, the confusion, the lack of wisdom and compassion, the lack of awareness, and indeed all that is there, inside him, no doubt, but it is of no interest to me, or anyone else but him, if he ever wakes up and decides to look at it.

Now I am ready to look inside of me. And as I do, I recognize my wounded pride, which limps pitifully before me. I can see attachment and jealousy don't play such a strong role in this tragedy. I thought I saw them for a while last night, but this morning they were gone. Bam!!! I am proud!!! Wow!!! I must confess I did not see that coming! I thought I was all about desire and attachment, and anger and confusion, surely, with the occasional spurts of greed and jealousy, but... pride??? seriously????

Well here it is, showing its ugly face. Here I am, wounded in my ego. Thinking of how bad I look now to the whole wide world (quite realistically, I don't think the world gives a damn, but you know how it is). I am still quite angry and cannot stand it when I feel his eyes on me, I could pluck them out (just kidding!!! well... sort of anyways). I refuse to look at him because I would then see his sardonic smile, and that would get me even madder. "I don't want to smile at you mister!!! And in spite of what you think, I don't find your story funny!!"
Grrrrrr!!! I am angry, aren't I? (I say this with a wondering surprised little smile, it is actually quite fun to examine one's emotions!).

As I grimly chew on all the things I could say to him if I were given the chance, I realize that the last one would probably be "Thank you". Not in a friendly, forgiving, bridge-building kind of way, of course, but simply quite matter of factly... This is definitely one interesting opportunity for development!

And the discoveries in the lab continue...

Why are we on this path (angry)

Freedom is such a vast concept... for some minds it is hard to actually grasp it, and they confuse freedom with being irresponsible.

But in Buddhism, the main objective of our practice is to become responsible for our own lives. This implies two very important qualities: active compassion and intuitive wisdom. Our teacher also insists at almost every lecture on the importance of not hurting others, but to rather work to protect them. Buddha did not leave commandments, but rather a few advises to help us lead happier and more beneficial lives.

At the level of the body, he recommends not ever killing or damaging anyone, but, like I said, to take every opportunity to protect others, and to give them healthy pleasure physically. At the level of speech, Buddha of course advises us not to lie or deceive others, to avoid slander, harsh words and empty speech. At the level of mind, we are basically counseled against hatred.

As I stand here I see someone deceive me, and make a fool of me, obviously hurting my feelings and not taking one minute to reflect about it. I have a real hard time understanding, especially the lack of compassion. But well, like my friend Ingrid says "People are cruel", and being on the path doesn't mean that we have actually learned anything.

I think of my own intuitive wisdom and how I must really learn to trust myself and that when something scares me, I should maybe listen to it. I also thank my good karma for things falling into place before more harm is done, but cannot help feeling like a fool and resenting this attitude. I understand this also is Karma, and that I planted the seeds of this situation at some point in time. This is serious purification, working at many levels and on many emotions. And I very bravely resolve not to sow more seeds in this direction. Maybe tomorrow I will even be able to make good wishes for this person and actually do it from the heart.

Quite honestly tonight I am angry.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


To follow up on my friend Peter's idea, how do we measure if we live a rich and meaningful life? If it indeed is by the quality of our human connections, then how do we measure the warmth and depth of these connections? By how much they hurt if they break? By how much we've given or received? or by the feelings that remain throughout, when together as well as when apart?

In friendship it is easy to keep the freshness of the feeling, even if we separate for a long time. So I think our true trials come out in love.

Throughout many years in my life I grew weary of love, feeling afraid of the intensity and of the negative possibility of having my heart torn out, which did happen, of course, many times. I remember the last time it happened, a couple of years ago. I was with my family and friends on vacations at a friend's house, on the river Izabal in Guatemala. The house we were staying at was much like a resort, with several pools, bungalows, and even a boat to take us around the river and the adjoining lake. Everything was Paradise, we had it all, the best food, the best cocktails, the best music, the best company. Yet I was suffering greatly. I was suffering the pains of a broken heart.

The offender in this case was also present, which made my torment worse, since I could not take my mind off of my misery even for one second. I remember being actually sick from the pain I was undergoing and wanting the earth to open and swallow me whole. It didn't. What did happen was that I had an astounding insight regarding my pitiful situation. I realized that my heart was indeed broken, and I also realized that it happened to everyone, ALL THE TIME!!! So suddenly my situation was not as bad as I thought, it was actually quite common, and even more, it was also impermanent. Although I couldn't foresee it clearly, the day would come when I no longer suffered the way I did.

I had to wait a while for that. Almost two years went for me to recover all my strength and self-assurance. And trust still felt like a lifetime away... Until then, a miracle happened!!!! I fell in love again!! Unexpectedly Waldo came into my life and showered me with love, and sweetness, and tender words and actions. From the loneliness where my previous broken heart had left me I had suddenly a place where it was warm and cozy. It even felt safe. And it was!!!

As you might know - if you're faithful and applied readers - our love story didn't endure long. It ended, and of course this caused disturbing emotions. But it didn't break my heart. And it didn't break his either. The amount of good impressions we planted into each other's heart is intact, and the good feelings that once united us are still there. I still want all the happiness in the world for him and he still wants all the happiness in the world  for me. If he were here right now, we would hug tightly and feel the happiness of our connection. Yet we are no longer in love. (With each other ;) )

For the first time in my life a love connection ended without me going through a zoo of difficult emotions and untamed wild feelings. I actually observed the whole thing disintegrate gently, softly, as if we both knew we had to take care of the other one's heart, as of course everyone in a relationship must. But I have told this story already...

The interesting thing is having new stories to tell. And I think I might...

The duration of this connection is yet to be seen, and not really important, things being as they are, impermanent like clouds in the sky. But I cannot doubt the depth of it. As I write these words, I feel my heart flutter with joy. I feel equal parts of excitement and prudence, but I know I will not shy away from the experience. I do have all the tools necessary to deal with whatever comes to be after all... So I'll just be who I am and let my heart beat like it does. Like Lama Ole says "When you don't expect anything, everything is a gift. When you have no fear, everything is an opportunity". So, for now, I'll just enjoy the butterflies and smile :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

FRIENDS on the Way

This chapter is devoted to the connections I've made in this part of my journey.

A while ago, a man with special psychic powers (let's just not get into that discussion, take my word for it, ok?) told me that during this trip I would learn about real friendship, since I had not had real friends in El Salvador. I was a bit shaken by his words but otherwise didn't really think much about it.

Until now.

Last night as usual we all got together at the big tent after the teachings ended, and there we were laughing and sharing stories when suddenly, a bit jokingly, Carina said to me "Don't worry, I have your back!" and we both laughed because of the context (that situation might be told later on....). But inside of me, the words of the psychic resounded. I actually KNOW she does.

It's true we don't know each other for long. We met in Karma Guen quite superficially and only started to become friends at the last night party in Kuchary. But friends we have become. And we've been traveling in really close proximity since Hungary and we've shared many things, intimate confessions, crazy fun, differences and similarities. We've even shared beds and even assignments since we're both translating into Spanish our Lama's teachings. We've met cute guys, and interesting people, we've been to parties together, to Museums, we've eaten cake together, and made fools of ourselves together, we've been smart to each other, we've given advise to one another, we've shared our purifications and our realizations, etc. etc. And I've always felt secured in her company, safe and secure. Carina definitely has my back. And I've got hers!

She has been my teacher ever so humbly, or I'd dare to say, totally without realizing it. I've learned from her quiet and unpretentious wisdom, from her generosity, from her patience. She is warm, open and trusting, and we actually share the same sense of humour. I add meeting Carina to one of the blessings this trip carries. Spending time with her has made so many things more meaningful, and we are incredibly alike on many levels. The company has never been unnerving, or overbearing. I am thankful to Pavel for having introduced us. My trip has been all the better for it.

Another person I must speak about, here at EC, is one of our translation booth companions, Adam from Poland. Adam is a young, energetic, good humoured man, who has always a joyful smile on his face and a very sweet tooth, our friendship started by sharing gummy bears and chocolates in the booth. Later it moved on to wine and chips and tapas, and jokes, and laughter, and opinions, and stories about our lives, our countries, our lovestories, our connections, our understanding of the world.

He is one of the very few men, if not the only man, here at EC that I feel totally confident relating to. As he put it the other night when a friend of his implied something more than friendship was going on between us "the connection between me and this girl is different, she's like my sister". I beamed at him! I feel totally the same. This is very special. Adam is a very educated young man, who comes out like a joker but has incredible depth to himself. I admire his liberated view on love, and find my own view still so tight and narrow. Our dharma exchanges always leave me refreshed and wiser. We share our dreams and this adds value to our friendship.

My friendship to him became clear the other night. In face of the possibility of a nice night connection, I preferred to stay with him, chatting over hot ginger water. He also has my back, and I carry him in my heart.

Another special person who also has a compartment in my heart is my other translation companion, Patrik, from Hungary. For him, I feel a special tenderness and a sort of responsibility (for lack of a better word, this really not being the right one) for his well being. Patrik is a very sensitive and honest man. He showed me his heart and I therefore became somehow protective of his happiness. He is beautiful and strong and good, transparent and wholesome. I see his great power so clearly and just wish I could mirror it back to him unequivocally, I realize I am constantly making good wishes for him, and that I am especially concerned about his feelings. I have his back.

Gari is also special to me. We met in Beckse and found ourselves again here. He is the sweetest, most attentive and generous person around, and if I see him in the same room I am, I get the feeling I am not alone, even if we're not together. He is always smiling, always gentle, always friendly. Gari speaks French perfectly and we carry on long conversations in my favorite language, which fills me with joy. He is funny, kind and giving. He awakens feelings of great trust in my heart. Like we are friends from long before. Gari has my back.

Dharma is not only about personal growth and development. Dharma is about love and connections, and trust and human warmth, about shared values and pats on the back. We are all part of the Mandala, we all share the blessing. I love them all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Maintaining the higher view

So the adventure continues. I am enjoying the magic of the E.C. at a level I never expected. I realize that it's been two months today since my journey began and that I've been in the energy field of my Lama. That in itself is very special and I know this is why I am so capable to hold the higher view in my daily life and occurrences like never before.

I am strangely surprised at this new state of mind where I seem to rest so easily in the here and now and in what's happening without dwelling on my wants and desires too much. And also, generally, whatever I want or desire manifests without any preoccupation on my behalf to make things happen. I must confess to have been training on this for some time. It has happened slowly over a long time of meditating and having silent insights that have helped me not to expect anything, and to flow with what life has to offer.

This is strangely evident in the energies that are supporting my traveling. I can see how things arise and come into place effortlessly, assisting me in creating this new life I want. Now the most difficult part comes, the one I am so afraid of. i must speak to the lawyer that will tell  me how to proceed with my visa request. I don't want to lose time in moving to Prague, I also do not wish to spend much time in El Salvador anymore. I wish for things to go smoothly. I made serious wishes at the Copenhagen gompa, as well as elsewhere for this move to be as effortless as everything else. This is the most stressing situation for me right now, to worry about this visa.

But as I said, I have acquired a gift for managing life's difficulties that seems to make everything flow quite easily. It is simple, fresh, staying in the now and only focusing on what's right before my nose.

Around me, my friends on the way gather in the big tent that serves as a place to eat, to dance, to have exchanges, work on computers, etc. Andrei just came by to tell me that all my friends have gathered in the back and to invite me to join, and by the way would I like some tea? This is really how it is here. Everyone so friendly and caring. We all just want to do good for others, we all want others to feel good, to be happy.

The party last night was a pure explosion of joy. I danced with my friends, with my beloved Cathy and with an absurdly beautiful stranger, who turned out to come from Czech Republic. This is just icing on the cake: the fact is that all the men I've met so far from this country are just gorgeous. By the way, I've been actively trying to meet people from Prague or Czech Republic in general, hoping to make some friends for when I move there.

And speaking of making friends, I will join the happy people around me and stop all this serious thinking.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Taking stock

For the past year and a half I have doubtlessly experienced the fastest personal development ever. I know that if I think of the person I was before meeting Lama Ole and Buddha's teachings, I can't really recognize myself. It is actually embarrassing to think of how angry I was, so full of resentment, so quick to feel offended, and so easily a victim. I remember how sad I felt, how lonely, how unfair I found the world and how horrible everyone (from traffic, to strangers, to my partner, my friends and even my mother) was.

The transformation has been vital, for how can anyone survive in such a dark cloud of negativity. However years of meditation, of reading, even of psychotherapy cannot equal the transforming power of housing our Diamond-Way group for the past year and some months. Becoming responsible, at last, for my own growth, and for my actions at an ultimate level, gave me the key to my own inner power.

Working with my friends was not easy, many discussions came about, and like our lama says "people who discuss become enemies, people who meditate become friends". Fortunately, we meditated more than we argued, and we also shared many good moments, parties, cook-outs, beach outings, movies, all moments that helped to water the seeds of Sangha-ness. We really came through! We became best friends, we worked really hard together, we learned to trust one another, and to understand that in the end we are all about the Dharma. Our good intentions became good impressions and I am ever grateful for all the work that everyone did to cement our friendship.

At a more personal level, it involved many strong changes. Changes in my personal habits, regarding smoking weed for example, or the way I would approach people to ask for their help. I had to undergo a huge transformation. Open myself to the many mirrors that were reflecting my shortcomings. I had to step on my ego that wanted me to be the purest, the smartest, the quickest, the most devoted, the best meditator, the friendliest, etc. ad infinitum. It is upon coming face to face with my flaws, with the things I did not do well that the greatest change came about.

As it turned out, I was not the best communicator, nor was I the best meditator, I can only think I was truly a good cook, that statement remains, I think, uncontested. But the others went beyond contesting into really looking into the dark little corners where I felt safe. Like Lama Ole says "development happens beyond our comfort zone". And I must admit I now know a lot about what lies beyond this comfort zone. These past two months of traveling have showed me so much about the nature of my mind, my character and the ways in which I relate to the outside world that I am once again changed. A new transformation is taking place, only I can only witness it now, not really take in the actual results.

One thing is certain, I have grown up. I am wiser than I was before. The development of our meditation group in San Salvador gave me insights I treasure, even if most of the time I was unaware what was going on, my mind stream kept all impressions and quietly helped me mature and learn. 

I am not trying to write about how wonderful I am as a human being. Like I said, I started like a quite obscure, frightened little thing, and the way to Enlightment is vast and long before me. I am just taking in the wonders of human development, and I feel amazed and happy to see how it's changed me.

As I sit in this tent, surrounded by my friends on the way, I know we are all in this together, trying to become wiser, and to have more clarity, and become more useful and beneficial to others and to the world. The flow of good impressions touches us all, and I thank myself for taking a risk, for leaving home behind, for taking another risk and spending my savings on this Europe tour following my lama, strengthening the bonds with my friends on the Way. I don't know what the future holds, and much to my dismay and anxiety, I am speaking of the near future, as in ten days from now. But I trust Space, that has brought me so far with nothing but blessings, I trust myself, for I know I have become someone one can depend upon, and I trust the teachings that get me through everything that happens with a smile.

Tilopa said to Naropa "Cut all ties of involvement with country or kin, practice alone in forest or mountains retreats. Rest, not practicing anything. When you come to nothing to come to, you come to Mahamudra."

Ok, I am far from coming to nothing to come to, but I think development happens one step at a time.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Don't focus on the gift, focus on where it came from

And here I am again, writing about wishes.

I am simply amazed at how powerful my mind is and how swiftly I am now creating the conditions I want to experience in my life.

I wished and was fulfilled. Now, after last night, the very last thing I want is to go through inner disturbances. It is so "normal" to suffer after we have a pleasant experience. So "normal" to want more of the nice moments, so "normal" to make projections and to create in our minds things that don't exist, we are so used to suffering that any occasion provides a fertile ground for attachment and longing, and that simply equals into transforming the beautiful moments we live into suffering. Like Lama Ole says "'Wanting' is the total opposite of meditation".

I refuse to keep up bad habits. I chose to go beyond those habits and to work hard on creating new ones. I chose to feel gratefulness instead of craving, and to thank Space for the gift it has given me, and to not focus on it, but rather on where it came from.

Therefore I appreciate the experience, the person by my side, I appreciate the friendship and the moments shared. I think "Thank you" and proceed on to making wishes for this man, may he have the love that will make him happy, that will benefit him most, that will support the achievements of his dreams. That's it.

In the heart of the Red Buddha I go through the largest amount of gratitude possible. I feel so moved that I can't hold it in. I am grateful for having the wondrous opportunity of reaching someone else through my love. I am grateful at feeling so free that I can give such pure and unhindered love. I am grateful and grateful again. And, of course, now I let go.

I realize how much I've grown, and how different I am now. I have the distance to look at my life and at what's happening and not make it a personal issue. I have a new maturity and clarity, I have more strength. I no longer create nightmares that will hold me down, I have released these inner hindrances and I open my life, eager to SEE the path I walk on clearly. It is kind and compassionate, it is wise and intuitive, it is clear and powerful. It is free.

May he have the highest happiness! May he have the love he needs and dreams of! May he have the conditions to create the life he truly wants for him! That is the wish I make now.

Friday, August 5, 2011


As I walk out of the Gompa at midday, I wonder at the beauty of my surroundings. Behind me on the mountains, a group of cows graze and we can sometimes hear their bells ringing sharply in the clear air. Below me the lake shines bright blue, some ships sailing fast through the water, behind and all around are the Alps, green and beautiful, to the left and far into the horizon, snow peaks stand still. The sun is shinning, my heart is singing. I feel happy.

All around me people are happy as well, and I wonder at the bliss of crossing paths with so many gorgeous men, a multitude of beautiful eyes, strong shoulders and broad backs are a complete gift to my sight. But it seems I am so blissed out that I also find ugly men attractive - or at least that's what Carina says.

As I confess my funny attraction to a tall wild looking guy, she opens her eyes wide and exclaims "Mar!!!! You are losing it!!!" So I laugh and tell her I am completely liberated now! I am beyond all concepts! I might suddenly drift off in a rainbow! And we burst out laughing!!!

Like my friend Gerge says, when you are totally relaxed, you don't worry about things anymore, you go beyond the personal, and see that everyone has something of value and beauty to offer. Carina and I find hundreds of attractive men everyday, and chitchat about it like silly teenagers, we love it, and we have some healthy fun. I look around me and smile... I fall in love ten times a day, and laugh at myself for such freedom.

Maybe I'll really drift off in a rainbow... but not just now ;)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Full of Joy

I find myself at the famous E.C. Famous for us Karma Kagyus of course. For the past four years I have been dreaming of finding myself exactly at the place I am now, and that in itself is already a source for great joy.

But it's nothing.

Nothing compared to the feelings I have now surrounded by so many kind people. All around are people who choose to be happy, people who have made a decision of being solid, of being strong, of choosing wisdom over neurosis, and compassion over resentment. I wonder at the wonderful Karma that has brought me here now. I cannot believe that I myself eventually sowed the seeds for such great blessing.

My heart overflows with love. I look around at my friends and the only thing I want to offer them is love, love and tenderness. I want to reach out and touch them and massage their sore backs and feet, I want to caress their hair like little children, so they feel loved and cared for. I want to kiss their foreheads. I feel like a good mother Tara, who wants to give out all the love that flows out of my heart like water from a never ending source.

And especially Caty. As we all sit in the Gompa, meditating while the new ones take Refuge for the first time, the helpers around Lama Ole give out the Dharma names and cut the traditional lock of hair and give out blessed strings. Caty is here. She sits next to Lama Ole and my love for her knows no limitations. My eyes are almost wet. I see her and I know that although we all love our lama so much, no one takes care of him the way that she does. She takes care of him, protects him like a lioness her cubs, she works hard at his side to make sure that all his active compassion reaches his students in the most practical of ways. She is the holder of our lineage in a way, since she is the one making sure our lama is where he is most needed and in good health and conditions. No one cares for him as much as she does. Her bright mind works all the time. I wonder if others also notice.

I wish I could convey this love I feel for her, but as of today, I don't know the way. So I instead take care of my sweet dear friends, a kiss here, a kind touch there, and the best wishes from my heart go to them. May we always find ourselves in such a powerful and kind energy field. May we never lose the connection. May the blessing move from us to our loved ones and way beyond. May we continue the work our beloved teacher does. May we be worthy and honorable students.


Monday, August 1, 2011


How can I convey the feeling of Lolland Retreat Center? Just the wheat fields around me are a joy to me. Most of my life has been surrounded by sugar cane fields and coffee plantations, so the golden fields all around make my soul sing. And the wind mills in the sunset are a sight to see. The colours here are beyond description and I lose speech as I see the sun sinking in the golden fields.

Many high teachers have come to this center, the XVIth Karmapa actually did the Black Crown Ceremony here, and Jamgon Kontrul Rinpoche gave initiations, Lopon Tsechoo also loved this place. The blessings are many and we can feel this as we meditate by the stupa or in the Gompa. This place is bursting with inspiration.

We left Hamburg on Tuesday morning, and drove for a short while until we reached Puttgarden, where we boarded the ferry that took us into Denmark. We are all like excited children. After weeks of pissing rain, Scandinavia offers us a real summer, with a bright sunshine and actually warm air. We cannot get over being over the Baltic Sea. Szabi becomes quite an expert explaining that the abundant Jelly Fish we see in the water are due to the fact that the ocean is clean, then laughs at himself and says "Yeah! What do I know? I'm just a Hungarian without any shore to claim my own." And we all burst out laughing and tease him about being a marine biologist.

The trip is joyful and we reach Lolland quite quickly, set up our tents and leave to Copenhagen. 

I will not write about this city because I barely had time to look around, the time I spent in Copenhagen was spent at the Buddhist Centre, quite a historical place for us Diamond Way. Our Sanghas were all born in this basement. And just like at the Lolland Retreat Center, this place is filled with blessings from the Highest Lamas of our Lineage.

They say this Gompa is very powerful, and that it is especially good for making wishes. I then proceed to make all the best wishes for all the people I love, my family - health and well being for my beloved mother, and all my love and strength for my beautiful children, for Waldo all the love I know he needs in his life - I feel so thankful everytime I think of him. The feelings of love have softly transformed into gratefulness, gratefulness for his kindness, for the way he showed me how lovable I am, for the inspiration his love gave me, gratefulness for this beautiful connection that has only given us good impressions, this is rare and precious and I wish the greatest happiness for him. I also make wishes for my friends, I think of my sweet Gaby in Guatemala, of my dear Carina next to me, of beautiful Grace, and Rosma, and Sandra in El Salvador, may their wishes become true, may they find the partner they need and desire. I start to make wishes for myself but quickly discover that my mind wandered away from the wishes of love and partnership to strong wishes for work and stability to make my move to Prague painless and secure. 

That is where my priorities lie now. 

My wishes extend to those who suffer, and I specifically think of a person I know who is suffering and causing great troubles to those near him, may all his pain dissolve, may he find the light of his true nature, may this inspire him to develop and grow, may he find happiness and joy. He is at the center of all my wishes and meditations.

In Lolland the wish-making continues. I meditate and do prostrations by the Stupa and feel the energy. The power field is intense. The XVIth Karmapa walked around this Stupa, he actually said that a thousand Buddhas would emerge from this place, this makes me dream and wonder. Here I am now. I cannot believe it. I am so blessed.

When we leave for the EC, it is in the joyous company of several friends from the Lolland parties or from other previous courses. We all sing like maniacs "Take me down to the Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty" and much happiness is shared. Yet Carina and I look at each other with melancholy. It is hard to drive away from you Lolland.

I promise, I will come back.