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Buddhadharma : Summer 2015
74 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly summer 2 0 1 5 ➤ She took me in. Just as I was. Broken. Frightened. Needy. And then, she sent me off. I felt as if my visit, rather than having been a burden to her, was instead the most enjoyable interruption of her sleep one could ever imagine. It was as if being with me had enlivened and comforted her in the same way as being with her had enlivened and com- forted me. I have talked with many fellow stu- dents of Ruth’s, and each of us has sheep- ishly confessed to being convinced we were her favorite. The remarkable truth is, each of us was her favorite. Not in the normal sense, which requires one person be favored over another, but in a truer sense as in the light of Ruth’s awareness, each of us was favored (favor: the state of being approved or held in regard). Each of us was seen as the unique beings we were, genuinely lovable, genu- inely deserving of comfort. And in that moment of encounter with Ruth’s budd- hanature, we each relaxed into our own buddhanature; we each became wiser and more compassionate. Ruth adored the dharma and she adored us, and it was this equation that made her one of the greatest Bud- dhist teachers in the West. She trans- mitted wisdom through an irrepressible love laced with a Germanic sternness and a rigorous adherence to the trans- mission of awakening. I truly believe I would not have succeeded in entering he stream of Buddhism without Ruth’s heroic care, without her insistence on breaking all the rules that might prevent her from teaching what she knew was true and doing so in her own original fashion. I also believe that in her lifetime, Ruth did not receive the accolades, hon- ors, and support she was due. She may never be recognized as the phenomenal, awakened being she was, whose rene- gade nature forced her to abandon all but true original dharma. Yet for those hundreds and perhaps thousands of us who had the unparalleled good fortune of being her favorite student, we will forever carry the light of Ruth’s love and awakening in our hearts. SHAMBHALA SUN FOUNDATION An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun, Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, and lionsroar.com INSPIRING CALLIGRAPHIES BY Thich Nhat Hanh Kaz Tanahashi Chögyam Trungpa VISIT US ONLINE | STORE.LIONSROAR.COM Our ONLINE STORE is your source for high quality art prints, including Thich Nhat Hanh’s “I have arrived, I am home.” You’ll also find back issues, t-shirts, and lots more. INSPIRING CALLIGRAPHIES BY INSPIRING CALLIGRAPHIES BY INSPIRING CALLIGRAPHIES BY Every purchase supports the work of the PHOTOVELCROWRIPPER,LIZAMATTHEWS,CORTLANDDAHL