On the first visit of His Holiness Karmapa to Boulder, Colorado he gave us all a Vajra Yogini initiation and blessing in the main shrine room of 1111 Pearl Street, going between the spaces of hippies to touch us with his hand and implements, including the little head of my infant son Waylon.
On his second visit, I believe in 1976, my toddler son fell in love with His Holiness, wanting to go again and again to the place where he was staying on Mapleton Hill, which we called the “wedding cake house”. My son would say repeatedly, “I want to go to see the big man with the big hat in the big house!”
On His Holiness Karmapa’s last visit to Boulder, I believe in 1980, there was to be a children’s blessing in the main shrine Room. My son was now 6 years old. His father had fallen asleep and, although he had said he wanted us to wake him up, he was unspeakably angry when we did so. There was a domestic “scene” and Waylon and I were delayed. I was really afraid we had missed the ceremony but felt inclined to go late, rather than to wallow in domestic misery.
Indeed upon arriving upstairs in the main shrine room, it was clear that His Holiness had just finished blessing all the children and giving them candy. His back was somewhat to us when we entered and we hesitated to proceed, but His Holiness felt our presence; that’s the only way I can
describe it, and for no other reason he turned around.180 degrees Upon seeing us he gave us a huge welcoming smile and my son ran to him. I can only use an over-used analogy to describe what it was like It was just like the sun coming out from behind a dark cloud and warming us.
Upon returning home I felt I could face anything with a fresh start – not at all how I usually felt after a domestic scene. The power of love of His Holiness was contagious, indeed like sunlight, which shines unbiasedly on everything!
Also on that last visit I had a Vajrasattva ngondro group interview with His Holiness at Marpa House. I had just started that practice and after the interview it was His Holiness that animated the Vajrasattva on top of my head. Since my root guru was Trungpa Rinpoche, I felt like I was cheating
on him! So I met with Trungpa Rinpoche to sort of confess–and he burst out laughing, saying, “No difference!”
It was the first time I realized that devotion was not just about loyalty but about the personal connection with an authentic Vajra master and how it resonated with one’s inner guru–one’s awareness. Both His Holiness and Trungpa Rinpoche woke up my mind-heart in the same way.