I am happy to say I survived this last week. It was really something – four speaking engagements and two parties. It started at the Unitarian Universalist Center with a talk on Buddhist Mind Training last Sunday. Then I gave an introduction to Buddhism at the Avenue Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity. (I basically gave the same talk at both places. ) On Thursday, I met with a group of chaplaincy students at St. Paul’s Hospital. Finally, yesterday, I met with the Unitarian youth group, again at the U.U. Center. So it has been a busy week. I also held a birthday party for my mother on Saturday, and, since yesterday was the lunar new year, I attended a Losar party.
The Losar party was special because I had the chance to spend some time with Ilse Guenther, wife of Buddhist studies pioneer Herbert Guenther. At ninety years old Mrs. Guenther is healthy and active. She’s currently engaged in translating some of her husbands published works from English to German. This party also included the entire Tibetan population of Saskatoon – all three of them.
I was a bit sad not to be at Namdroling for Losar. It has always been my favorite place to celebrate the new year. This year though, it would have been heartbreaking to be there on the first new year after the passing of our Lama. It would have been lonely too, since a large part of our monastery population is still in Bodhgaya receiving the Kama empowerments.