who am i

Who am I

Half my life ago, I met the man sitting in the centre of this picture. And many times he turned my life upside-down. He taught me the ancient practice of Shamatha-the development of peace. He introduced me to the chaos of my mind, and he pointed out the true nature of mind to me. He introduced me to the ancient practice of offering tea: Chado, the Way of Tea, the Way of peace.

Shortly after leading a group of students to Japan, he passed away in Halifax. Only a few hours before his death, I was sitting closer to him than I am in this picture. Crying and crying, again and again just saying "thank you, thank you." All who know me, know him. All who meet me, meet him. I miss him very much. Because of him, I discovered the power to tame my own mind somewhat; the power to sometimes consider others before myself. And I discovered the confidence to present this web-site, and to push the button to release it into the world. May just a few people discover something in these pages; may just one person enter onto the path of practice. May all beings enjoy profound brilliant glory. And may I practice and teach the Good Dharma of Liberation until my last breath. Thank you sir.

The photograph is from Steve Winn. Travel to Japan with Chogyam Trungpa R, in the autumn of 1983. At Kitano Shrine. Rinpoche’s son is doing the Kyudo practice of purifying the four directions. Shibata Sensei is watching everything! Rinpoche and we are watching everything! His son is now the Sakyong or Earth Protector of the Borderless Kingdom of Shambhala. Directly behind us, about 10 minutes by bicycle, is the practice place of Shotoku-an. Twenty eight years ago!!! and I had no idea what would be my future. I still do not know. Do you?
At Rinpoche’s tea house, in the back garden of his Colorado home, I first started to study Chado. So it was he who introduced me to the Way of Tea and made it possible to meet Hounsai XV, of the Urasenke School of Tea. Hounsai took me on as a student of the Way of Tea, and thanks to him, Chado became a central part of my life. From him I learned the words "Peacefulness through a Bowl of Tea." Like Dragon Thunder, may these words echo out into the four directions. Thank you sir.

And to the hundreds/thousands of people who have gathered here at Shotoku-an, and have studied here: to all of you without exception, thank you. Thank you ladies and gentlemen for your support/no support, your protection/no protection, your encouragement/no encouragement. Please inspire me to live and teach for another 35 years.

Convery Bach Lawless
Chosang Tharpa