“One time I went to visit the Khenpo Rinpoches in their apartment in New York. Lama Chimed had recently come to the US and was staying with the Khenpos at Lexington Avenue. I remember Khenpo Tsewang inviting me into the back room, where Khenchen and Lama Chimed were resting and practicing. I began an elaborate description of why I was so dissatisfied with my life, how afflicted my mindstream was, how unfortunate my life circumstances. I must have gotten about 3 or 4 sentences into my description when Lama Chimed, seemingly oblivious to my effort to explain myself, doubled or tripled the volume of his mantra recitation. I remember turning my head to look at him, somewhat affronted, while the Khenpos looked a bit embarrassed. But the next thing I knew, all three of us burst into laughter. We couldn’t help ourselves. This must have lasted for about 2 or 3 minutes. We’d try and stop laughing, and resume the conversation, but then just start laughing again as if someone had leaked nitrous oxide into the apartment. Lama Chimed just smiled and kept on reciting his mantras—he must have known exactly what he was doing. Finally, Khenpo Tsewang put on a serious face, and began to redress my misunderstanding concerning the nature of samsara, and my failure to recognize how fortunate I was in all circumstances. I remember thinking how human and yet how extraordinary were my teachers. —David Mellins
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