Ira Abrams

I served as a kasung on KTGR's visit to Chicago in something like 2004 or 5. I walked him from his car up to the green room and back again for every session. Or he walked me. At any rate, I remember two things from that time. The second or third time I met him at his car, he paused with one leg out of the vehicle and asked my name. I said "Ira", but he didn't seem to understand. I repeated it without much progress. He just sat half in the car and half out holding my hand. Finally, I said "Ira-Ari; Ari-Ira" (because his student Ari Goldfield was his translator) and he burst out laughing and got out. All the way up the stairs he kept repeating it like a song--Ira:Ari; Ari:Ira. Every time I remember that, I am instantly back in a place where things can be simple and cheerful. The second thing I remember is that in a Q and A for one of the talks, someone asked why Buddhism sees the emotions as afflictions, but seems to promote love. He gave a long answer, but what I remember of what he said is: love brings us together and helps us overcome ego's separateness.