Apprentice

Relationship with the Lamas

I was scared and yet fell in love. In the early days of apprenticeship I felt tongue tied – but through their encouragement and support I have loosened up – and continue to loosen. Their support has been critical at pivotal moments in my life – my marriage break-up and subsequent divorce from a man who seemed to have few limits on the pain he was prepared to cause to those around him. I value their advice – and the evidently unwavering belief in me on which it always seems to be based. The relationship involves a great deal of laughter. Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen tease apprentices. Teasing begins at a certain highly specific juncture – when the relationship has developed to a point where teasing constitutes a means of teaching that can be accepted and enjoyed. The teasing is based on an intimate knowledge of the apprentice and on the knowledge that the apprentice who is teased feels seen and thoroughly appreciated through being seen. There is no criticism in the teasing – it is an acceptance which values the neuroses of the apprentice – as their potential for realisation. Ngak’chang Rinpoche majors in outrageous puns. His jokes can have me crying with laughter. Khandro Déchen and I frequently chat over a cup of tea whilst playing with their children. She would be the first person I would turn to if I needed emotional support or guidance. As Ngak'chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen are extremely happily married, their relationship is inspiring to my relationship with my husband.

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