Example of great gifts

On this wicked journey, there are some pretty neat surprises and gifts along the way. One that really touched me was a message from an Imam, who had come across my story and adressed me in such a heartwarming and respectful way… it was impressive, all the more so because of the members of his congregation that wished us well after the Imam had dedicated the friday prayer to us.

The mail below was of the same unexpected impressiveness. I have not seen Karen in ten years.. As with the Imam, her belief systems and practice may not be identical to mine, but we probably agree more than that we differ. Shame it is so hard to describe.

Below, the gift she sent me.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Karen
Date: Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 7:24 AM
Subject: Prayers
To: gsoest@

Dear Garmt,

Although it’s a long time since we met, I think that you will know right away that this is from Matthew’s mother. I have been reading your blog recently, at least some of your postings in English, with interest. As you may know, with my background, death is not frightening to me, nor do I think you will disappear. I choose to believe that the consequences of our actions in body speech and mind will continue into a future life. Sometimes this is called our mind-stream, which is unending until we atain enlightenment.
Actually the reason I was writing to you is to tell you that I have included your name on a list of those we pray for at an intense 2 week teaching and practice session I am attending. These Dzogchen teachings are only by invitation, which means that all the people (more than 150) there are dedicated practitioners. I am sitting besides Ani Jinba (Eugenie de Jong from Amsterdam) who has been a nun since 1969, but there are mostly lay practitioners.So all of us are now sending you positive healing thoughts, as I have, especially during the last few weeks.

If you object to this, I will take your name off the list, but I personally will in any case continue to think of you. Also, I will be talking to the abbess of Green Gulch, a branch of the San Francisco Zen Center, and my sister’s best friend in the next few days. They probably have similar practices: How would you feel to have them pray for you? Or some nuns in Nepal and Tibet? I can also arrange for that. Just answer: Yes or no.

With all my sympathy and warm thoughts: It could have been me who was struck by such a disease. Thank you for experiencing it so I don’t have to.


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Garmt van Soest
Date: Sun, Sep 13, 2015 at 8:37 PM
Subject: Re: Prayers
To: Karen
Sorry for being late and short. You caught me in the midst of a media blizzard. I released a book, hurrah. More attention for my ego to thrive on!

I am very grateful for your prayers and your offers. I say this as a practicioner who finds his gratitude insufficient when stacked against the weight of the good deeds bestowed uepon me. I feel it an honor and a blessng to be in your prayers and those physically close to you, but I am not sure I can comprehend (and therefore accept) beyond that. I hope this makes sense.

Would it be OK with you to put your email on my site as an example of the near-critical mass of positive energy the world keeps sending my way?

Also, I see Matthew this weekend! Yay!


1 reply
  1. garmt
    garmt says:

    Mijn moeder vroeg om uitleg van mijn antwoord. Het was ook wel erg cryptisch.

    ik vind het wat vaag om te zeggen
    ik ben boeddhist, of, ik ben christen, etc.

    ik zeg eerder, ik beoefen boeddhisme.
    jhet engelse woord is nog mooier.

    dat is zowel oefenen als praktijk.

    een soort van beoefenen en uitoefenen tegelijk.

    in plum village zeiden ze, how is your practice.

    ik ben dus een practicioner.

    als practicioner vind ik mijn dankbaarheid onvoldoende in het licht van wat iedereen voor me doet.

    dat is die zin.

    als zij voor me wilt bidden, graag.
    ik snap het nut voor ons beiden daarvan.

    als zij dat wilt doen met een groep, dus degenen die in geografische zin zich op dezelfde plek begeven als zij, begrijp ik dat ook, en ook het nut voor ons beiden.

    als ze verder gaat dan dat, bijv. door nonnen van een plek waar ik nooit zal komen of die mij nooit zullen kennen, dan snap ik het niet meer. ik snap dat het voor hun kan piassen, maar niet voor mij. dat aanbod wil ik dus niet accepteren.

    is dat logisch?


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