It’s early April, and I drive up to Kansas City through the gathering greens to attend a family financial pow-wow. Before leaving, I go through my mail and leave just a very short stack of items to be given further attention on return. One of these items is an invitation to a Buddhist Dzogchen meditation retreat led by my old teacher, Lama Surya Das. I’d done a month of silent retreats with him over a four year period, ending in 2000, for the last two years of which I was also his massage therapist. We developed a fairly close connection, which I was very grateful for, and I had corresponded with him occasionally over the almost eleven years since I’d last seen him, but hadn’t actually been quite moved to sign up for another retreat. I saved the invitation to consider later, not sure yet whether I wanted to actually scratch that recurrent itch to do another retreat with Lama Surya Das.
So… I’m staying on the tenth floor of the Plaza Sheraton Hotel in Kansas City, right across the street from the Unity Temple. After two days of financial meetings, I wake one morning and stroll to the elevator to ride it down to the lobby prior to attending a last conference. The elevator doors slide open, and a tall man stands there alone – ohmygod it’s Lama Surya Das! I’m absolutely mind-boggled by the synchronicity! He recognizes me quickly, and during our our conversation, he invites me to attend a talk he’s going to give that night at the Unity Temple across the street, then to come as his guest to a daylong meditation retreat to be held there tomorrow.
As we walk through the hotel lobby together, and I exclaim to L.S.D., “This is deeply dreamlike.” It’s a real Buddhist situation
comedy, a joyful and improbable reconnection. I do attend both the lecture and the daylong retreat, and depart delighted with the peace and silence and the spiritual company of the
Lama , after touching foreheads in deep meeting with him in the wonderful old Tibetan fashion.
My wish for one more retreat with Lama Surya has been fulfilled; my persistent itch scratched!