The teachings about Machik Labdron that I began attending two years ago are rapidly coming to a close. At the last session in February, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche finished his transmission of Machik's Complete Explanation and announced that at the final session this month, he will give a "general instruction" about Machik's practice, chod or severance, which is designed to sever our fixation on the self as the center of our universe.
Because I have wanted to receive these teachings for so long, I am still a bit gobsmacked that I have been able to attend all but one session—and thanks to Rinpoche's kindness and the cooperation of the good folks at Namse Bangdzo, I got caught up on the teaching I missed via a set of 4 CDs.
I expected flack from my director when I put in for vacation time for the last teaching later this month—but not only did my supervisor approve my request with a "Go for it!", but our director simply said, "Sure, have a good time."
With 100% confidence, I can say that my attendance at these teachings has been made possible not by anything I have done, but by the blessings of my teachers—His Holiness Karmapa, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin, and now, I feel strongly, by Mother Machik herself.
The February trip was quite remarkable for its timing; it came just after one big snowfall and just before another one. There was snow all around, but the roads were clear and the accommodations were warm. I also got a great reiki treatment on a problematic leg, courtesy of a good friend. Maybe the next time I see Rinpoche, I can actually do a prostration instead of a little lame bow! And when I tripped and fell flat on my face in the street in downtown Woodstock, there were two protectors there in the form of helpful young women who stopped cars from running over me and helped me up and away from harm.
I cannot, after all this, ever doubt the profound blessings of the Karma Kagyu lineage.
All homage to the sages of the snowy ranges
Whose wisdom and compassion
Our ignorance assuages
Here's a picture of KTD in the snow. That's Meads Mountain House to the left, the main KTD shrine building to the right. If you are thinking about visiting but dragging your heels, I highly recommend a visit.