Gelek and Allen and Jewel Heart – Jon Kain in his piece for the Shambhala Sun, some years back, “Gelek Rinpoche’s Remarkable Journey”, notes “They [Gelek and Allen] met in the early 1990’s, forming a fast friendship. Allen eventually became Gelek Rinpoche’s student, with Rinpoche performing the ritual at Allen’s death. “Allen never missed the opportunity to teach me about American culture and language, Rinpoche told me”, (Kain recounts), “He pushed me all the time. He was really so kind. And then what little dharma I know I contributed to him”.
Mutual respect. It was (always) sincere mutual respect, (notwithstanding the teacher-pupil relationship(s), notwithstanding Rinpoche’s charming, disarming, modesty).
Here’s Allen, from his 1996 Hot Wired interview with Steve Silberman:
and from the same interview (as part of a response to the question, what brings him joy?):
“Seeing my present lama advisor, who’ll be here in San Francisco this Thursday-night actually, lecturing – Gelek Rinpoche, who has a center in Ann Arbor. He does some advising for me, meditation advice, and for Phil Glass. Twice a year, Phil and I go off on a retreat with him and another 150 people. Phil and I are roommates, so we cook up more mischief..”
In the spirit of Glass-Ginsberg “mischief”, we wish Gelek Rinpoche a Happy Birthday! – Happy 72nd Birthday today!. May his spreading of the dharma continue..
Here’s Allen (the photo is by Lisa Law, by the way), singing Guru Blues