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Lions Roar : November 2006
also said that he was trying to provide an example for peo- ple, a structure for them to learn how to be, in ways that would be helpful to them. He talked about the importance of manifesting Shambhala society within our day-to-day lives. He was always thinking about how he could bring more people in and how he could work with people in an intimate way. While I could accept this intellectually, it was extreme- ly difficult for me to accept a total lack of freedom in my everyday life, which my role implied. Whenever I was liv- ing in Rinpoche’s world, there was absolutely no break, no time off, so to speak. For so many years, even my bedroom wasn’t my own. My attendants would come in and out of the bedroom all the time, and I was expected to be kind to them. There were constantly other people in the house. If I went into my kitchen, there were always other people there, even at three a.m. Although people were polite to me, there were people serving at the Court, especially men, who didn’t understand what I needed for my children and myself. Rinpoche was asking me to do what he had done, which was to accept having no privacy. I gained some insight into how Rinpoche lived his whole life when I went to Tibet after his death. I saw that many of the teachers there live this way. They are completely accessible. Peo- ple just come into a teacher’s room unannounced all the time. I realized that this was how Rinpoche grew up—without any understanding of what privacy meant. He belonged to the peo- ple. Maybe it’s easier if you’ve grown up in that environment. It was, however, a big jump for me. Rinpoche wasn’t any longer just the Buddhist teacher going into his office and giving talks. He was essentially asking me and his whole family to join him in this new teaching adventure. He was asking me to also take on a role and to train people as well as train myself. Now it wasn’t just that he wanted me to put up with students being around all the time. He also wanted me to think of myself as a teacher or a role model in the Court. It was intense and challenging. At the same time, it was remarkable, given his upbringing and his culture, that he wanted to offer such respect and responsibility to a wom- an. He had developed tremendous respect for women, and proclaiming my role as the Sakyong Wangmo was a way of expressing that. ♦ Diana Mukpo and Chögyam Trungpa, both accomplished riders, during a Midsummer’s Day Celebration in 1980. SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2006 51 PHOTOBYANDREAROTHCOURTESYOFSHAMBHALAARCHIVES