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From Mandala June-August 2002, San Francisco writer Steven Moss shares the story of how silence can sometimes allow for long-overdue communication:
“I haven’t spoken to her in twenty-two years, and I don’t intend to start now,” my mother proclaimed, scrubbing at the already clean counter to emphasize her point.
“But Mom, it’s a silent retreat. You won’t be talking to her. In fact, you’ll be encouraged not to,” I said to the back of her head. I noticed her hair was still mostly black, with only a few specks of grey.
“Yes, well, as long as she doesn’t try to talk to me. I’m not having any of that.”
I’d made the mistake of telling my mother about a retreat I was going on with Aunt Gen. Knowing of my budding interest in Buddhism, Gen had found a course for me to take at Spirit Rock, a local meditation center. She offered to pay the fee, and, after we talked about it, asked if she could come along. I was delighted to spend time with my aunt, who’d taken up Spanish at 60, and tap dance lessons at 65.
After I told my mother, she insisted on joining us. Not because of any interest in Buddhism, but to make sure her older sister didn’t spend any more time with me then she did. Still, she wanted to make it clear that while she was going to the retreat, she would not be speaking to my aunt. …
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About Mandala Publications
Mandala Publications is the official publication of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international charitable organization founded by two Tibetan Buddhist masters, Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is a vibrant international community, with a network of 160 affiliate centers, projects and services, and members in more than 30 countries.
Mandala print magazine is published in January, April, July and October. Mandala is available via the Friends of FPMT program.