Home / Blog / COMING HOME – Chapter 4

Aloha!

This is the 4th chapter in a series of posts called COMING HOME that will be shared between now and mid-October that are written to entertain, maybe inform, spark memories, connect our hearts, and definitely beseech your help to sustain Karmê Chöling through April 30, 2020. Karmê Chöling needs your unrestricted donations now more than ever before.

I hope you enjoy it. If you missed Chapter 3, you can read it here.

Mahalo Nui!
Kit Kanohoaloha Wynkoop
Director of Development


Before I attended the LA Weekthün, and following my zeal for Trungpa Rinpoche’s writings, I read the first two volumes of the Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma…twice. As you may know, this trilogy of books – mind-blowingly edited by Judith Lief from transcripts of Trungpa Rinpoche’s recorded talks over a 17 year period – explains Buddhist psychology and maps out the Buddhist practice path of the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana.

These teachings were foundational for me. And still are. I took them to heart no less than had I been a student sitting in front of the Vidyadhara (literally: wisdom holder), Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Buddhism and Buddhist psychology finally made total sense to me and I could see what those early volumes I attempted to get through were saying.

In 2014, I flew out to Karmê Chöling from Honolulu once a quarter to take Shambhala Levels 1-3, Levels 4&5, Rigden Natural Confidence, and Great Eastern Sun, Windhorse, & Drala. There, I experienced the sheer beauty and power of the land through each of the four seasons. There is an indelible feeling I have of the very first time I was driven down Patneaude Lane: the point of approaching the flag by the river and crossing the bridge into a lighter more brilliant dimension. Curiosity was aroused and my eyes wide open.

My experience of the Karmê Chöling community back then was welcoming but not intrusive. I felt I was allowed to have my own space and at the same time I was welcome to join the “staff table” at meals on the extra days I spent there.

When I turned 25, I moved to San Francisco and stayed for 25 years. My nickname there was “Mr. Positive.” I attribute that to growing up in Hawaiʻi. But after working for a very corporate biopharma company for five years, I became what I unaffectionately called “one of them:” aggressive, rude, and only concerned about myself.

And that’s exactly how I practiced in 2013 while reading the Profound Treasury. I was aggressive and hyper-concerned about creating a solid daily practice and getting meditation “right!” When thoughts took me away, I screamed “THINKING” to myself or when I missed a session, I got angry and berated myself. It worked. But I certainly was not a friend of mine.

During that year of Shambhala training, I noticed I was more settled, more focused and even kinder and gentler – with myself and others. It was easier to discipline myself without disciplining myself. Was this correlated to the teachings or to the overall amount of time I was practicing? I was practicing a lot. I don’t have an answer to this question but linearly, that’s my story.

At the end of 2014, Shastri Bill Brauer and his amazing wife, Ella Reznikova, vacationed in Hawaiʻi. Shastri Brauer was the teacher of three of the four week-long programs I had just taken that year. They let me show them my island and had plenty of time to explore on their own. Bill and Ella very graciously offered a Level I at the Kailua Shambhala Center on their last weekend there. But before their return flight to blustery Barnet, Ella casually dropped, “You know, we have job openings.”

In less than two months from those words, I was driving back down Patneaude Lane – this time, to stay for a “year.”

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Stay Tuned for Chapter 5….


 
 

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