By Cicely Berglund
A long time ago Rinpoche said ‘One day you will be dropping like flies’ -so make the most of this opportunity. And indeed this is happening, increasingly over the last five years or so. So it is of value to record stories and recollections of the early years of the community, to transmit as much as possible of the inspiration, trials and troubles and energy.
As many of us now know, George Marshall died on the 5th of February, 2016 in hospital in Tatamagouche close to Dorje Denma Ling. He was eighty three years old. For many years, from the early seventies until the Vidyadhara’s parinirvana, George was a close and very devoted student. From early years at Tail of the Tiger to Boulder to Halifax NS, and then to Tatamagouche.
His devotion never wavered. He was a charismatic, rambunctious and untamed spirit somewhat dampened by a stroke in the mid-nineties. His devotion and determination to carry his Guru always above his head and look towards the Great Eastern Sun never wavered.
He died peacefully in palliative care after a six week encounter with cancer. The nurses remarked on the ease with which he undertook the journey. A well attended and rich Sukhavati and celebratory supper was held at DDL on 11th Feb. 2016. His ashes will go to Holland where his children Dana and Adam live.
I would like to solicit stories and recollections of George’s life. For he certainly strove to embody Crazy Wisdom. His experiences with and around the Vidyadhara are worth the retelling.
George sat across from me when we both attended program, each of us residing in Halifax. I remember the unbridled openness of his way of being, so irritating to me as an uptight Torontonian . And then the stroke; visiting him in hospital as he boldly forced himself to stagger around the room the very next day. -Marguerite Stanciu
This gentleman Dr. George R. Marshall is a complete fake. He was in fact a constant gardener of the dharma and lover of Trungpa Rinpoche. He is singly responsible for getting me involved in buddhism—a great curse! But, nevertheless, on some level, jolly good fun. This person, who went under the pseudonym George R. Marshall, I encountered way back in the 60s when he was working for General Electric and took my wife Naomi Tannen and me on a yacht trip. This was an epic jewish trip into Sheepshead Bay in a boat that had the pretense of seeming to keep afloat for the period of time in which it took to drink oneself into inebriation with martinis. In any case, I fell in love with this expansive and totally spacious being who was trying to make a living in what is called the real world as a doctor of psychology. Much later, he rented his house in Elizabethtown, NY to me, my wife, and several students with learning disabilities, where my brother-in-law who was somewhat overweight fell through the roof and into the the washer-dryer machine. George was the inheritor of a herd of Scott’s Highland Cattle given to him to look after by the brother of William F. Buckley, Jr. These animals escaped throughout the countryside. Then on a 4th of July reenactment, George formed a community of friends who attacked our community in Paradox, NY. Since we had 30 juvenile delinquents and 4 six-pounder cannons, we defeated them handily. His trump card, however, was very devious. He introduced me to the ultimate pirate, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. George Marshall’s spirit, if such a thing exists, is not going anywhere but will continue to play in the dharma activity of his beloved guru.
John Perks, dharma brother