When I was first reading Ngak’chang Rinpoche’s book Journey into Vastness—in 1990— I perceived myself as an ‘independent’ person. I could and would do-it-alone. I did not need religion or a teacher: ‘Just give me the methods and I’ll go my own way.’ I practiced meditation: first alone; next with the support of some basic readings; then, in a Zendo. Journey into Vastness changed that. I was struck by the words of a Teacher, someone who spoke directly to me, who could be there for me, guiding me on the path. It was clear – I needed a Teacher, and the Teacher was right there in front of me. When offered the opportunity of meeting Ngak’chang Rinpoche and participating in a weekend workshop with him, I jumped at the chance. That weekend everything seemed to slip into place: I recognised yogic Song as ‘home’, experienced visualisation, was advised to practice solitary retreat, and completed the weekend by taking refuge in Buddhism. I have never been the same since. Five months later, overcoming the sense that I was not good enough, ‘spiritual’ enough, or experienced enough, I requested apprenticeship – and was accepted.

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