As there are in most people’s lives, I have people who come and go. Some recent acquaintances and some long standing. Most old friends have never seen me in my new environment. Even my old, (40 plus years) friends back in Tucson may never have seen me directing meditation for a group. And the Chicago friends, fuggedaboutit.
So what? Well I find I straddle between who I was, who I am and who I am becoming. Not only is it a transition, it is a laborious process. Imagine that I arrived in Dallas with a letter of introduction from a Buddhist monk in AZ to the Buddhist temple in Dallas. The letter was written in Thai so I will have to guess what it said. I think it went something like this. Ken Goldberg is competent to lead Westerners in meditation!
How had my life come to this? Dozens of hikes up and down the mountains with the monk. Days spent learning meditation on the mountains, in the desert and in the non air-conditioned Buddha Hall. I accompanied the monk to art fairs, grocery shopping, community meetings and finally as a novice monk. My head and eyebrows were shaved, I was assigned a bed in the hall, and typically I was in the Buddha Hall by 5.30 AM chanting and meditating with fellow monks.
This post is not for those who have come to know me in the recent past. What would you care my journey. This is for the old crowd. To them I say, Imagine that….I lead meditation, in a Buddhist temple. With the blessings of the monks. I know darn well, not one of you, not ONE, ever thought this day would come. And with good reason. This day had no business coming. It was not on the itinerary or flight plan. My orbit was not scheduled to come into retrograde Aquarius with a Sagittarius moon or some such. Nope, live fast, die young and have a good looking corpse.
If anyone had told me I could modify my life in this way, I would have scoffed. If someone called me sweet, I would have mocked them. I would be derisive to those that had not learned to fear me.
You are welcome to join me every Wednesday night at 7 PM at the Wat Dallas at 8484 Stults Road for meditation. Ends at 8 PM. Or join me Tuesdays at noon, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas community mental health center at 8140 Walnut Hill Lane #200 Dallas, TX 75231 for meditation. That is an invitation you never saw coming.