Turn it yourself

The Wheel of Dharma

It was one of the early Level Fives and there were a huge number of participants, mostly from the buddhist community, but there were a lot of new people there as well. As the Director of Shambhala Training, I was given the task of introducing Trungpa Rinpoche.

I got up in front of the full shrine room under Rinpoche’s watchful gaze, and found myself giving a really long and flowery and somewhat overdone introduction about who he was. Every once in a while, I glanced up at him and he looked thoroughly bored with what I was saying, like he was about to fall asleep.

Finally, I got to the end of my introduction and I turned towards him and said, “Sir, on behalf of all the student warriors assembled here, I respectfully request you to turn the wheel of the Shambhala dharma.”

As if opening his eyes from a nap, he looked at me and said,

“Turn it yourself.”

Frank Berliner became a student of the Vidyadhara during the first summer of the Naropa Institute in 1974. He lived at Karme Chöling from 1974-78, then served Trungpa Rinpoche over the next fourteen years as National Director of Shambhala Training and Ambassador to the Berkeley Dharmadhatu. In 2011, Berliner published a memoir titled, FALLING IN LOVE WITH A BUDDHA.