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  • Lama Jigme Gyatso

Metaphorically Playing Victim


What do you hope to gain

from the study and practice

of meditation?

asked the Lama?


I want to be free

from neurosis and illness!

the prospective student replied.


I could teach you meditation,

and guide you to a wise physician

but we can only help you

if you apply our instructions.


For if a wealthy invalid

pays for the council

of the wisest doctor


but leaves his medicine

untouched by his bedside

he will most certainly perish.


The wise physician she was led to

analyzed every peer-reviewed,

nutrition-oriented scientific study.


He made his findings known for FREE

through video, and blog, and live stream;


but she did not want to modify her diet

and so she blamed her husband

while others of her ilk

blamed their wives.


She found a way to sidestep the guilt

of not doing what she should

but her body was not fooled


and grew sicker, and weaker,

and degenerated further and faster.


Her lama explained

that to successfully traverse

the Buddha’s path

of Love and Letting-go


it was crucial to enthusiastically embrace

a compassionate and clean diet

as well a daily practice

of brisk walking meditation.


She attended his classes

month after month,

and year after year,


allowing his words, and philosophies,

and stories, and techniques

to wash over her,


making her feel quite good,

and special, and important,

and justified.


So much so,

that she did NOT feel the need

to deeply and transformatively

apply his instructions,


but instead

merely contented herself

to follow his teachings

in the most superficial


and perfunctory of manners,

if at all.


Years passed,

a decade passed,


and her diet grew:

neither compassionate

nor clean,


her meditation:

seldom ambulatory, or brisk

or transformative.


The years passed

and her health

both physical and mental

deteriorated.


In class after class

her teacher implored her

to eat compassionately and cleanly

and to perform brisk, walking meditation.


She did not have the courage

to tell herself

or her teacher

that she did not want to.


She told tails

of menacing squirrels in trees,

and scary dogs behind fences,


and inclement weather,

and treacherous sidewalks.

She persisted in telling stories

painting herself as the helpless victim.


Doing this might have soothed

her feelings of guilt

at least for a while


but it did not free her from the tyranny of fear,

or physical degeneration:

rapid, and tragic, and utterly avoidable.


Like a gifted Padawan

determined to ignore wise counsel


and who enthusiastically embraced a path

that led to a life

of needless torment

behind a rasping, breath mask.



Let us conclude

with a simple

call to action


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These spiritual poems are also available on

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