In Europe or America—so-called ‘first world’ countries—I wonder how many employers of casual labourers would care if a peripatetic, illiterate woman (who earned the equivalent of about 20 Euros a month) got pregnant and had to have an abortion. The most compassionate might refer her to a councillor or the social services or an adoption agency, but I can’t imagine anyone in our fast-paced, profit-hungry, ‘civilized’ world getting more personally involved than that, can you?

Several years ago, one of the Nepali women in the construction team OT Rinpoche had employed to build his house became pregnant and wanted an abortion. When the news trickled through to OT Rinpoche, he sought her out and asked her not to go through with it. Instead, he said, “Give the baby to me.” So she did. And her baby boy, Nagarjuna, has now become a much-loved member of OT Rinpoche’s extended family. I think that’s what New Yorkers might describe as ‘walking the talk’, no?

I caught sight of OT Rinpoche today as he was cleaning the bell (with all the qualities…) and dorje that Khyentse Rinpoche will use throughout the drupchen. And no, your eyes are not deceiving you, he was whistling while he worked away at the bell with a brush he’d bought in a Berlin flea market.

One thought on “Lifesaver

  1. Janine, thank you so much for sharing these precious insights – both the story and the pictures. OT Rinpoche is such a rare gem with such high qualities and the small bits and parts you deliver from time to time are making it even more obvious. So wonderful. So special.

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