Relationship with the Lamas

My relationship began in 1994 in New York City – but feeling I wanted a Tibetan-born teacher I made no commitment. After a few years, however, I felt the need to seek out Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen again. I felt the need to find a personal teacher – and was inspired by yogic song and Dzogchen. I attended another retreat in 1997 – but somehow I was still unable to perceive them as being what I believed to be necessary. I moved to working at a Tibetan centre in California to deepen my practice and find the student/teacher relationship for which I yearned. My time was well spent – but during that year Ngak’chang Rinpoche was invited to give teachings there – and I found myself having grown to a point where I could suddenly appreciate his powerful authenticity as a Nyingma master. I completed my year of work, made a pilgrimage to India and Nepal, and returned to the East Coast in 2001 with a renewed desire to receive teachings from Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen. It was then that I finally realised that they were my teachers. My relationship grows more intimate and genuine as my confidence increases – there is a natural and organic development. It used to require a lot of effort to connect with teachers. Many teachers I had met were present for short periods and it was hard to reconnect with them. I had lacked a sense of palpable presence in my life before – but with them I am received, valued, and encouraged. They offer a remarkable opportunity to practise directly in the ordinary lives we live.

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