Last Encounter With A Great Mind

Mala Sikka

In October 2003 Rinpoche gave his last teaching in Britain. He taught the “Three Points That Strike To The Vital Essence”: recognition, confidence, and application or putting it into practice.

When he came out of the class he would stand around and chat with people. He was standing there on a chilly day with some wind and rain as there often is in Britain. He was chatting and at the same time trying to put on his coat. He was having some difficulty getting his arm in the sleeve. Immediately I thought I should help him and then I thought, “I can't”. I looked at him and thought, “No, no, no, I can't possibly touch the Lama. He’s a monk and you know you don’t touch him.”

He looked at me and it was like, “Oh-oh, I got that wrong” and immediately got the message, “Go forth! Do not hesitate!”

So I took the coat and he offered me his arm, then he made it very difficult for me to put his coat on. He was goofing around and making it even more difficult for me, but finally he allowed me to succeed in helping him. He gave me a smile and I realized it was very simple. He read the mind and it was for me the last teaching, just “Do not hesitate. Any time it comes into the mind to help, go forth, don’t stop yourself.” There were no words spoken, it was just a look in the eye and a little twinkle and the information that came through was just to act on your instinct, not just your animal instinct but your deeper intuition. With putting on the coat he was silently teaching the Three Points: recognition, confidence, and putting it into practice. This was a lesson for me in not hesitating.

When he got in the car I frowned and he looked at me and said, “Oh, we have a little tikka in front of the Mala Sikka.”

Tikka is the mark on the forehead of the Hindus in India, but I was actually frowning, reflecting on the depth of what had just happened. He called my frown a tikka. What the tikka means depends on context but generally it is a positive mark that represents the divine eye.

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