Embodying the Light
Bhikshuni Karma Trime Lhamo (1928-2016), my first dharma teacher and guide in this lifetime.
She taught me about the true meaning of compassion because she embodied it, in her presence, and her actions.
Humble and straight, she never claimed to be anyone's guru. But she was, and will always be a great teacher to me, because she was there for me, she listened, and she cared, and she was honest with directness and simplicity.
As a teenager, I struggled silently with deep depression and loneliness. Anytime I looked into Ani Trime's eyes, her compassion touched my soul and inspired in me a sense of integrity and hope.
She was the first one who encouraged me upon the path of Buddhistic meditation and study of the Dharma. And she gave the best hugs, with a strength of presence that felt absolutely unshakable.
In the days of early computerized word documents and email, we exchanged typed letters, and at the end of them she would always write in her own flowing and cyclical script: "Just Keep Dancing! Love, Trime".
Today I learned by chance that she passed away last year - actually I had sensed it, but in the busy-ness of life, I had crossed over the sense. In the early spring of that year, I had visited her at the Princeton Buddhist Meditation Group gathering one Sunday. It was the same as always, same joyfulness, same smile, same authentic sense of humor. We embraced each other, and she mentioned that somehow she always felt very happy to see me. I told her I still have her buddha, the little red statue she gave me at the end of our highschool Buddhism class. She paused for a moment, then simply responded, "Oh, well it's YOUR buddha now!" And at that time, I thought I understood what she meant.
But now, I am feeling that all the compassion she shared with me, is truly mine now, to heal myself with every day, and also to share with any other being that may be in need. We all truly do meet in the right place and the right time.
Thank you, Trime, may your soul eternally enjoy peace, and bliss, and go on to be a light for many other beings who are struggling through times of darkness.