The Usual

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During 1985 and 1986 I attended Rinpoche weekly. Upon entering his room, there was often a vast sense of space. This particular day, not unlike other days, he wanted me to sit right next to him and proceeded to stare at me for a long, long time. The space felt dense as he fixed his dark eyes upon me. I looked back at him for a short while … then looked away … looked back again, only to return to his piercing gaze. This was not the first time I squirmed under his intense inspection, but this time I came up with what I thought was a great question. I said: “Sir, What do you see?” Without the slightest hesitation he answered in a flat voice: “The usual.” It took me aback. I must have been hoping that such scrutiny would yield something a little more exotic. Never have I met anyone so deeply inquisitive about “the usual.”

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