Hellen Newland

20 years ago we had gone to the ocean to release lobsters that would have otherwise been eaten a ransom gift for Rinpoche's life I never thought he would-somehow ... anyway there we were out on the ocean, where I loved to take walks and extremely odd occurrence: there were tons of people there just looking at the water for the water was full of ice the whole harbour had filled with ice an uncommon thing to happen uncommon things happen when uncommon people are around Rinpoche had been in bed for quite a long time I was the housekeeper and had the wondrous task of cleaning his room slowly and fully Rinpoche was sometimes like a shaft of wheat without the kernel all used up and shrunken then the next day he would be "back" his body would be filled again like the wheat kernel had been reinserted in the chaff to be with him somehow stilled fear of dying there was no fear I kept my mind in a meditative state as much as possible, hoping to not disturb him so it went one day they took him to the hospital, another day they brought him back I was gone for a bit and when I came back he was still sick and again in the hospital so off we went to take the lobster to the ocean back home for them, although a bit polluted near Halifax people asked us what we were doing it was a strange site, people carrying lobsters back to the ocean luckily Joseph (Parent) knew what to say he explained when a great teacher is ill it is an ancient custom to release beings who would otherwise be killed so the lobsters went back to their home a few days later, I as sitting in the sun for it was 24 degrees unheard of in early April in Halifax, N.S. but then unusual things happen when there are unusual people around my then husband, Richard, called to say: come to the shrine room Rinpoche is dying and we are to do chants to ask him to live off I went, not believing he could die hadn't he just said at '82 seminary that our practice would keep him alive for 10 more years lots of shrine candles, so many that some broke from the heat shrine full of light beautiful chant heart wrenching then a call we all went to the court as I walked in through the front door, I felt on the verge of loosing my mind not just my seat and there in full suit and tie as kasung was Silas, my son this lifetime, and he said something something so true and to the point that it brought me back fully present, open and willing I was able somehow, I think due to Joudie (Westman Adolf), to be present as they checked Rinpoche's body they pinched his skin and felt the area around his heart his skin was supple like a living person's and his heart warm we stayed practicing there with Rinpoche for 5 days 5 days of being in CCL not needing food nor sleep just being in Rinpoche's mind there was a nun, a French nun she was with me practicing through all that time I had not seen her before nor since she said Rinpoche would be in samadhi for 5 days and that turned out to be true after the samadhi, we actually felt hungry and tired again sometime within all of that practice I acted as a guide bringing sangha who were arriving from all over the world from the airport to Halifax to be with Rinpoche not sure how that happened, as memory of the time is open and vast not fitable into time and space Many sangha and friends of sangha came to be there together in Rinpoche's mind Rinpoche's total compassion to the heart all encompassing being there knowing that state fully, in every cell unforgettable teaching beyond words after the samadhi off we went to KCL serving Dilgo Khyentse and the four princes sound as mantra the trucks on the highway arising as dhamarus and bells walking up the hill in procession bagpipes in the fog crying to the guru khatas the fire billowing smoke in the clear blue sky rainbows circling the sun turquoise dragon thundering mind stopped outrageous things happen when outrageous people are around may VCTR haunt us along with the dralas for all lifetimes till we realize enlightenment - Hellen Newland, Chaplain