Blog entry


song of the day: oh what a world / rufus wainwright
word of the day: hugger-mugger / concealment, done in secrecy. 2, disorder, confusion, muddled.

my wife asked Genpo Roshi to be her teacher last night! wow! WOO HOO! WWWWOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! We now both have the same teacher. Pretty wild, my wife has a Zen teacher. She's always been a Shambhala girl. Trungpa Rinpoche is a major figure in her life (and all Shambhala practitioners), he was the dude who started Naropa, and he was really a powerful teacher by all accounts, one of a handful who came to the West and really made a major imprint. He was a tad controversial, he drank a lot, slept with students, and that kinda thing. But by all accounts of those who knew him, he had a million watt transmission. my wife has always loved loved LOVED Trungpa. he died in 1987, so she never got to study with him or meet him, but his presence is felt everywhere here in Boulder. we have original art works by him, photos of him, and all his books. from the time she first came to Buddhism, marci has been in the Shambhala community, so it's a bit of twist that she asked Genpo Roshi -a Zen dude- to be her teacher. but, on the other hand, it really makes sense.

Genpo's teacher was Maezumi Roshi. Maezumi and Trungpa were very close, they spent large amounts of time together. Genpo was always with Maezumi, and so spent a great deal of time with Trungpa. He's got endless fascinating stories of Trungpa / Maezumi, all of them hanging out together. This is actually one of my favorite things about hanging out with Roshi, he tells the most kick ass stories of all his experiences with these two legendary figures. In a way, Genpo's life through those years was a link between Shambhala and Zen as these two traditions danced together through Trungpa and Maezumi's friendship, and Roshi was literally the attendant to all that history (the attendant is the one who is present there for their teacher, getting or doing whatever might be needed throughout the day, etc). Roshi became intimate with both teachers, and the way the two traditions complemented one another and also the ways they were distinct.

for some time my wife considered asking Reggie Ray to be her teacher. it's funny, cuz back in the 80's, Trungpa personally asked Genpo and Reggie Ray to work with the Shambhala community, and bring more structure and discipline to the Shambhala meditation practice. In a sense he wanted someone from within Shambhala (Reggie) to work with someone from within Zen (Genpo) to bring some of the positive assets in Zen to Shambhala. Zen is known for its discipline and the precision of the practice. Trungpa felt that there wasn't enough structure in Shambhala meditation, so Reggie and Genpo worked together to introduce it to Shambhala. there was quite a lot of back and forth between the two traditions, and Genpo has a great deal of appreciation and experience with Trungpa. in fact, at one point, (this was after Trungpa had died), Trungpa came to visit Roshi while he was deep in meditation, long way into a retreat, and Trungpa's visage spoke with Genpo, then reached into his crotch and "adjusted" his genitals in the subtle plane, and moved the polarity of his work from masculine to feminine. he literally re-calibrated the system, and from that moment forward Genpo has had a very heart-centered, feminine anchor in his work and teaching. he cites it as one of the most important, defining moments in his work. (Genpo, by the way, is not someone who tells a lot of para-normal, mystical type stories, in fact the opposite is the case, he's incredibly grounded in the basics, and doesn't get into that kind of stuff, as it is so easily a distraction or type of confusion. this is the one and ONLY story i've ever heard him tell that has that kind of paranormal, very unusual dimension to it. but he is emphatic, it was not a dream, it was not an hallucination, Trungpa's disembodied spirit literally came to visit him, and "operated" on his subtle body to re-orient his energetic alignment, and it was a defining moment that has changed everything since. so, there you go...)

well, with all of these interesting coincidences between the two, it really does feel so beautiful that my wife has asked Roshi to be her teacher as well. we can now practice in the same tradition, as a family. not that we were some fractured, splintered family before, i mean, we very much practiced together. but having the same teacher will really take things to a whole new place. it's very touching as well, because Genpo LOVES my wife. always has since he met her. last night when she asked him, we all beemed, and toasted, and it was one of those moments i will aways treasure. it feels to me, and i think it's fair to say to my wife and Roshi as well, that in that moment, and in the three of us working together, Trungpa is included, Maezumi is included, and there is a marriage between the families and traditions that is East / West, Shambhala / Zen, masculine / feminine, and Big Heart / Big Mind. i feel so grateful today, and fortunate to be married to my wife and to know Roshi, and thankful to all the loving agents in the Mystery who devoted their lives to the Dharma. i bow to these bodhisattvas.

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