Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gelek Rinpoche's Birthday!

[Gelek Rinpoche and Allen Ginsberg, at the reception after a Jewel Heart Benefit, Chicago, November 9 1991. Photo c. Jennifer Girard]

Gelek and Allen and Jewel Heart - Jon Kain in his piece for the Shambhala Sun, some years back, "Gelek Rinpoche's Remarkable Journey", notes "They [Gelek and Allen] met in the early 1990's, forming a fast friendship. Allen eventually became Gelek Rinpoche's student, with Rinpoche performing the ritual at Allen's death. "Allen never missed the opportunity to teach me about American culture and language, Rinpoche told me", (Kain recounts), "He pushed me all the time. He was really so kind. And then what little dharma I know I contributed to him".

Mutual respect. It was (always) sincere mutual respect, (notwithstanding the teacher-pupil relationship(s), notwithstanding Rinpoche's charming, disarming, modesty).

"I've had a very good life, especially great luck with teachers particularly Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and now Gelek Rinpoche. Both have great hearts. So there's a basic security to all that".

and from the same interview (as part of a response to the question, what brings him joy?):

"Seeing my present lama advisor, who'll be here in San Francisco this Thursday-night actually, lecturing - Gelek Rinpoche, who has a center in Ann Arbor. He does some advising for me, meditation advice, and for Phil Glass. Twice a year, Phil and I go off on a retreat with him and another 150 people. Phil and I are roommates, so we cook up more mischief.."

In the spirit of Glass-Ginsberg "mischief", we wish Gelek Rinpoche a Happy Birthday! - Happy 72nd Birthday today!. May his spreading of the dharma continue..

Here's Allen (the photo is by Lisa Law, by the way), singing Guru Blues

1 comment:

  1. I coordinated those retreats, it was cool as hell having Phillip and Allen around, Bob and Nena Thurman, lot of other well known folks mixed in with the usual dharma students. Hanging out with Allen in the shitter, dining hall, and out in nature was always fascinating, about what you would imagine. When Allen and Phillip first came to JH, we were meeting in the upper portion of a two car garage in Ann Arbor, it held about 30 people maxed out, sometimes I thought the building might fall over from the weight, both physical and metaphysical. Just to hang, have tea, and chill and chat was an unforgettable experience, and thank you Gelek Rimpoche for the opportunity to become their friend, long positive and blissful life to you my spiritual friend.