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Ngakma Métsal Wangmo
Regarding her background and teaching, she says:
“I have very few memories of my childhood but I do remember when I was about 11 years old and I visited London for the first time. I went to receive an award from some member of the royal family at a big ceremony at The Albert Hall. I cannot remember now what the award was for, who the royal personage was or much of what happened on the trip, but I never forgot hearing the stentorian automated voice that speaks to you on the Underground every time you go to get on or off a underground train. “MIND THE GAP! MIND THE GAP!” For some reason I thought that this was a very important instruction and it made me roar with laughter. For months and years after I would make myself giggle by repeating the phrase in an ominous tone. In fact it is making me laugh as I write this.
Thirty three years later and I am still interested in exploring the gaps and I still find lots of things make me laugh without being able to explain why. My memory is insufficient to providing an accurate linear progression of the intervening years – but I studied English Literature at university, worked as a nursing assistant in a psychiatric hospital, studied and practised traditional acupuncture and, most pleasurable and ongoing of all, brought up my son. He is now bigger, stronger, better looking, more profound and less complex than I am, but I still beat him hands down at dealing with blood and vomit.
I recently completed many years as a class teacher in a Steiner School, working with a highly entertaining group of 12 year olds. Being fortunate enough to teach every day for a living gave me lots of practise at it and this has helped me be clear that my best teaching occurs when I have immense enthusiasm, a huge helping of humour and minimal personal agenda.
This is what I would hope to be able to bring to teaching Buddhism too. I also hope to be articulate and coherent without being overly intellectual as I am not clever enough to do that and get away with it. I am most interested in helping people be actually happy and kind – I apologise if that makes me sound like a Miss World contestant, but at my age sounding like one is the closest I am going to get.”
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