Old Seeker, Young Master

Today is Losar Tibetan New Year, and I am living at the Sakya Pema Ts’al Monastic Institute at the foot of the wall of mountains that is the Himalayas, just outside Pokhara, Nepal, south of the forbidden Tibet border. I came here with three Black Belt friends from the SKH Quest Center Hombu Dojo in Dayton, Ohio, for further study of the Vajrakila tantra practices, a set of powerful mind transformation methods for transmuting conventional human weaknesses into enlightened powers. Traditions of Tibetan wizard monks and yogis developed these skills as a body of practice from the days of the early 800s.

Kathy Antoshi Joseph, Brian Denton, Lama Kunga Dhondup, Richard Watoshi Sears, Stephen K. Hayes, and Tenzin Dhakpa at the gate to Pema Tsal Monastery

Though Tibetan practitioners use a black 3-edged dagger spike as a symbol of the purifying power that immobilizes evil, this is primarily a mind and spirit training as opposed to mechanical use of a blade as a weapon. Having first begun my study of Vajrakila Dorje Phurba at an event with the Dalai Lama in 1996, I came here seeking ever-advancing training in how to help my friends develop more of the “heart like a blade” for which To-Shin Do was named.

Tenzin Dhakpa, An-shu Stephen K. Hayes, and Lama Tashi Wangyal at the foot of the Himalayas

My friend Tenzin Dhakpa has studied these practices at Pema Ts’al since he was a small child, and recently underwent an intensive 3 month retreat dedicated to spiritually coming face to face with Dorje Phurba as a power for removing obstacles to goodness and sanity in the world. Tenzin Dhakpa speaks excellent English, is highly skilled at translating arcane Tibetan texts into terms I can grasp, and was tireless in his determination to be sure that I got the most I could out of my weeks at the monastery. It was humbling in an amusing way to look over at him one day as we translated texts on the sunny terrace outside my room at the monastery and realize that this knowledgeable teacher in whom I put so much faith and trust was actually one-third my age in years.

Well, why not a young master for an old seeker?

I believe in my teachers! I show respect to all who help me progress.

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