Demonstrating The Dharma

Dear David and Rab

I have wanted to support your project but as I reflected on my long journey with Rinpoché, I realised that I mostly remembered the outflows and implications of interactions rather than the interactions themselves. I think the actual interactions have become edited over the years according to my needs and the needs of the situation. In the end, after sifting numerous anecdotes which I have, from time to time, shared verbally in teaching situations, I am sending you two pieces. One pointing to perhaps the most profound yet beyond words type of interaction that arose in our meetings and one written shortly after he died. I hope they might be useful and that your project flowers in ways that truly benefit beings.

Mary is still mulling over whether she will contribute something or not. She will get back to you if she does.

With warm good wishes from both of us,


Tarchin Hearn

During the many years I travelled with and studied with Namgyal Rinpoché, he often challenged me in many extravagant and innovative ways.

He challenged me physically.
He challenged me emotionally.
He challenged me intellectually.
He challenged me conceptually
He challenged me in the areas of food, money and sex.
He challenged me constantly to re-evaluate who and what I thought I was.

These challenges took many outer forms. Sometimes they were direct verbal or physical confrontations. Sometimes they took the form of him suggesting or propelling me into an activity that led me into much learning and transformation through interaction with others. Although many of these exchanges could easily become the substance of fantastic and at times outrageous guru tales, on par with any Gurdjieff or Zen episode, in retrospect, all these anecdotes would be more about me than about the being I thought of as my teacher. With this in mind, I'd like to relate a different type of situation, one that was very quiet yet at the time touched me to the core.

The situation I'm referring to was a simple, unspectacular type of moment that occurred many times in many different situations and circumstances. From the very beginning these moments resonated within me something precious and, at the same time, something fundamentally sane and profoundly natural. These were moments of being with Rinpoché, usually with no one else around. They often occurred in between Rinpoché's seeing people. They happened in the car, sitting in a hotel lobby, in his room or on an outside seat looking out on a magnificent vista. Dwelling in silence, comfortably still. Rinpoché gazing pensively at seemingly no thing in particular. His glasses off; utterly relaxed and uncontrived and not being anything for anyone. A huge space of presence. No conversation, nothing to be said, yet feeling absolutely at ease and effortlessly alert. There was something blessed about these moments. A demonstration of ordinariness, of naturalness, of spontaneous awakeness. Now I recognise them as transmission; a wordless demonstration of something precious beyond imagining. When I think of Rinpoché today, I frequently feel those moments of contact. Everything else seems like decoration on a cake or just gathering and refining qualities of being, so that this always present mystery could self-reveal.

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