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Lions Roar : September 2015
all different religions. That’s not wrong, but there’s a beautiful image I’ve been taught that addresses this. There’s a river we need to cross in our spiritual lives and we need to get to the other side. We have a far better chance of getting across the river if we get in one boat, as opposed to straddling two or three. For me, devotion was about meeting Lama Gyatso Rinpoche. I was in his life for eight or nine years, and he gave everyone who came into contact with him enough to do for this life and lives to come. He was a great teacher and gave us great instructions. Pema Chödrön: I think that finding a teacher is so much like falling in love— you can’t pretend. Right? So you met your teacher and had that strong feeling imme- diately. For me, it was slower with Chög- yam Trungpa Rinpoche. He was a really challenging man, in terms of his lifestyle and so forth. But when I came to him with my human neuroses and problems and obstacles, I never found anybody else who knew exactly what was going on and could address them in such a modern way. It was always breathtaking. From that point, my devotion grew more and more. I realized over the years that he never gave up on anybody. He never gave up. Sometimes it was pretty radical and uncomfortable, but he would do what- ever he could to help us let go of being caught up in the small world of me and robbing ourselves of the gapaciousness. When you feel that you are caught in fixed ideas or prejudices, you want to find a way to expand when you feel contracted, to open when you feel closed. When I think of Chögyam Trungpa and other great teachers, I feel that sense of gap and expansiveness. I just think of his face and I feel it. Is it the same for you? k.d. lang: Yeah. Pema Chödrön: For me, that is the most important thing about devotion. Teach- ers connect you with the best part of yourself. Just thinking of their face, you connect with it. ♦ A free video of this conversation is available at soundstrue.com/pemakd. SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2015 77