Entering the Path

Entering the Path September 11, 2022

My first encounter with a happy person changed my life.


                                                                               Image by Olexy@Ohurtsoy from Pixaby

Have you ever doubted that a person born in this day and age, living a city life full of schedules and smartphones, could become a being that enjoys a lasting undercurrent of contentment? It seemed like a fairy tale to me until I found myself sitting in front of just that person in the spring of 2006. I was in a yoga studio with 30 other people, listening to a man wearing Buddhist robes speak about things I had never heard of before.

New ideas

He told us about Buddhist concepts like karma and emptiness, ethics, impermanence, meditation, and Guru devotion. And while he joyously spoke, I was enthralled. Everything he said was engaging and often very funny, even though the ideas were foreign to me.

A happy person?

What struck me was the man himself. I didn’t know what was happening. I only knew I was having an encounter with a man unlike anyone I had ever met. It took me some time to realize that what I had seen that day was a happy person. Nothing more complicated than that.

I felt his happiness was an unending wellspring that seemed to be occurring for no apparent reason. As I stared at him, I suspected that if someone stole his car, it wouldn’t change his mood.

This event was my very first moment seeing Lama Marut (1953-2019)

I had no idea that I was having my first feeling of Lama devotion and that very soon, there would be no turning back to how I lived and measured my life.

Old unhelpful beliefs

Here is a link to my website

I grew up believing that I needed to be something and have certain things in this world to fit in and be vital. Why wouldn’t I? It is what my parents believed and their parents before them and on and on back into history.

Until meeting Lama Marut, I bought this idea wholeheartedly.

Looking back to life before the dharma, I understand why I constantly tried to make things like food, jobs, relationships, status and possessions the cause of my happiness even though the evidence of their non-functionality was in plain sight, glaring at me. For one thing, everyone in my life, including myself, was suffering in one way or another. And we were all talking about the same stuff; How to be something special, make this world bend to our wishes, and make plans that would be the blueprints for our future bliss-filled lives.

But all these plans could never have worked. The mistaken viewpoint that motivated them doesn’t produce lasting happiness. This mistake is the belief that lasting well-being can and will be supplied by merely gathering things we like around us and ensuring that the things we don’t like are far away.

Living under the influence of this belief perpetuates the cycle of suffering known as samsara.

Here is a link to my audiobook, reaching bliss. It is a full day of retreat and meditation.

There is a way out

We can intellectually unlearn this mistake with study, but deep meditation is required to break this deeply hardwired idea. The seed that forces us to see the world as the cause of our happiness or misery is planted very deep in our being, but it can be undone.

What is the first step?

In Buddhism, it is the Lama. The Teacher.

When I had the incredible good fortune of meeting Lama Marut, his presence, words, and love touched me so profoundly that I couldn’t turn away. After the talk, I managed to work my way up the line of people to talk with him directly. When he looked into my eyes, everything else disappeared. It was a crowded room no more. His eyes zoomed in on me, and his face was calm, acceptance and anticipation. All that came out of my mouth was, “How do I become like you?”

He chuckled, his eyes lit up even brighter, and holding both of my hands in his, he responded quietly, like it was our secret, “Study. Meditate. Study. Meditate”.

I had forgotten about my body. I kept staring into this man’s eyes, and a small breathy “Ok,” came out of me. I walked away in a semi-trance when I became conscious of the room and the others waiting to see him.

Not long afterwards, I asked him to be my teacher in an “official” sense, but that first moment with him was the actual start—the lightning bolt. After meeting Lama Marut, I felt the dawning of a tremendous unspeakable momentum moving within me that continues to grow even to this day.

Here is a link to more encounters with Lama marut

The start of a journey

When I responded “OK” to Holy Lama Marut during that first meeting, that little “OK” arose like an echo from a deep cavern within me, looking back now, after years of studying, meditating, serving, and finally teaching, I see that I couldn’t have known then the impact of that tiny moment with Lama Marut.

With that one little heartfelt “OK” to my Lama, I had entered the Path.


                                                               Image by Nato Pereira from Pixaby

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