• ksdlondon


"To repay people’s kindness doesn’t mean we just try to treat them well, but that we use what people have given us – be it skills, knowledge, or resources – to help other people better themselves and to make this world a better place, which will make what others have done for us extremely meaningful."

~Drupon Khen Rinpoche Karma Lhabu Teaching at Thrangu Sekhar Retreat Center, Nepal, 12 April 2020

Ana Carolina writes...

When Sarah asked me to write a piece for the blog I pictured myself voiceless standing on a stage in front of a crowd hungry for knowledge and wisdom. I'm not a writer, English is not my first language and I haven't even started to scratch the surface of the Dharma, so I apologise if this reads like lost thoughts trying to find their destination. I truly hope that my words can be of benefit to you somehow. A few weeks ago, just before the lock down, I found myself at the entrance of Kagyu Samye Dzong London. Through the window, I saw Lama Zangmo waving at me with a big smile on her face whilst the front door opened to the sound of Sarah's voice: "Welcome, my friend!" It was really happening. I was moving in! I had become one of the centre's residents.  That was a day of complete joy and happiness, but also of fear and uncertainty. Besides the anxieties which accompany this whole pandemic situation, I was [and am] still processing the very recent loss of my father. As I was coming up the stairs towards my new bedroom, carrying what was left of my belongings, grief felt like the heaviest bag of all. Uninvited feelings and questions were travelling through my body like a double espresso entering my blood stream in the early hours of a lazy morning. "What is actually happening? What has brought me here at this exact moment?"- I wondered. I believe that dealing with my father's death would certainly have been a very different experience had I not met the Dharma before. I can't deny that his physical deterioration was [and still is] very hard to process, but the teachings help me see that he was not only bones, flesh and atoms combined in that specific shape that formed his body, so seeing him go was easier than it would have been otherwise. In addition, these days of trying to accept that I will never see him again would definitely have been harder had I not moved to the centre.  Therefore I am extremely grateful for being here right now, for having the opportunity to practice under Lama Zangmo's guidance, together with a kind community of residents who I am so lucky to have crossed paths with. I get life lessons on a daily basis by chatting, exchanging memories, having deep discussions on the Dharma or by simply observing. Without realising it, everyone here has been guiding me on a path of kindness, awareness and gratitude. From the sharing of a meal to the cleaning of plates; from the early meditation together to the sound of mantras floating through the corridors; from the blog posts and pictures to the tea offerings. The list goes on. I couldn't thank you enough for all the positivity and kindness shared.  This feeling of gratitude makes me wonder what was going on through my father's mind during his last moments? I wonder and hope that he was grateful for who he had been, for what he achieved which benefited others and for the people he crossed paths with in his life. Has he ever stopped to think about these matters? Did he go aware of and grateful for the uniqueness of this life? How would his life had been different had he met the Dharma? I might never have the answers to these questions but I am able to understand the life-changing potential of contemplating these thoughts now and not tomorrow or later, when the time of death comes. I am able to understand that gratitude is the answer for many of my [our] anxieties and that it is a path for a more meaningful life.  I truly hope that we can be able to work on opening our eyes to see things with more clarity and appreciate all that surrounds us, and the good that is within us, here and now. I truly hope that we can practice gratitude, if not in every single moment, but every single day and that when our time comes we can part with the awareness that we not only appreciated and valued this journey but rejoiced this life time.

So, if at the beginning I was voiceless, please accept gratitude as my speech.

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