Thursday, November 18, 2010

18 - Refuge

So yesterday i drop off names for Buddhist monks to pray for my dad and his dad. Money already paid. Q thinks it's a waste of money, but my bro and i are willing to give it a shot.

At my friend's (where his lama master is staying) he reiterates an offer that i can take refuge if i want, as numerous people have already done. And because who knows the next time i might have an opportunity w/ a good lama.

i hem and haw a fair bit. Don't feel ready. Feel like too much of a sinner. Etc, etc.

But then again, i also like the idea of a lama who my friend vouches for. And i think i expect i'd become a buddhist sometime down the road, and why should i hesitate? Why delay something which could make me a better person or bring more solace into my life? Even if i have less fun due to less sinning?

So i said ok.

So i sit down before the 37 year old Tibetan monk and his makeshift altar. He recites some stuff. I close my eyes and feel wave after wave of energy washing through me. Not unpleasant or pleasant. Just energy. Mind wandering a lot, because i'm already late for dinner w/ Derrick, and wondering what Q will think, wondering what i've gotten myself into, wondering how long it'll take. Also somebody's cell phone starts ringing.

He throws a few pinches of rice over me.

i do my best to repeat some Tibetan lines.

More recitation, and that's it.

Gives me a Tibetan name (to add to my already long list): Yishi San Zhu. Something about wisdom and receiving what i want. Which is alright, though i think i need to want less, don't i?

He says some more stuff, gives me some interesting little gifts, glances at his txt messages, gives me an official Taking Refuge card/booklet. He gives me his card, and says i can call him anytime or txt (since obviously i can't speak Tibetan, and he can get a translator).

I feel fine. Not elated or anything. The idea of being connected w/ a ancient lineage of lamas is really good, though pretty much intellectual.

However later Q says she's a bit surprised i did it since she thinks it's not quite the buddhism that i follow. And it's true, there's a feeling of religiosity that goes w/ this one, and even a bit of... magic.

Oh shit, did i sign up w/ the wrong religion?
Well kids, that's what happens when you impulse shop w/out doing yr research.

Now off to practice my Tibetan prayers.

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