May 23, 2008

Different Drums

The Shambhala Center shares a corner with the United Methodist Church. The Christian Science Reading Room is across a flower filled plaza from The Crystal Dragon with its Bob Marley tapestries and blaring Beastie Boys music. Two people asked me about my protection cord today. Another man stopped me on the street as I came out of the Shambhala Center to ask what that building was. He told me I had a good business handshake.

The gentleman in the Tibetan carpet store wanted to know what lineage I had taken refuge with. From him I learned that you aren’t supposed to buy thangkas in stores. They are religious items, which should not be bought or sold. It is better to commission them directly from monks, and nuns I suppose, if nuns make thangkas, because the money goes to support the clergy. I can’t afford any of the rugs, but he was nice to talk to.

The lady at the Asian home store asked if I was going to see the Karmapa this weekend when he is in Boulder. The tickets have been sold out for months. I didn’t even learn of his visit until the other week when I was at the Milwaukee Shambhala Center. Last time I knew, he was still have trouble getting a visa to enter the United States. She gave me the number of a woman who was selling a ticket and I left a message. She had some lovely kimonos which were much cheaper than the rugs, but I can’t afford them either. She complimented the moccasins I had picked up at the Buffalo Exchange Thrift Store.

A young man at an outdoor cafĂ© told me “good morning” as I passed, and I suppose it was despite being six o’clock in the evening.

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