“Grandma, I haven’t seen you cry yet about my leaving!” This, spoken with solemn earnestness, came from my gorgeous seventeen-year-old granddaughter a month before she left for her first term at university this autumn.
In the moment that I was waiting for an answer to emerge that would help her feel something from within me, I could not prevent my thoughts from going back to Minneapolis, to a scalding hot day in July of 1978. I received two phone calls that day that changed my life. The first came from my husband, who said he had accepted a job in the UK, beginning in December. I had been expecting this, but now it was real. When I hung up, my mind listed the consequences: We would need to sell our wonderful home and all but one freight ton of our possessions. We would leave our friends and my family. It would be an enormous adjustment for our young children. I would have to forego my postgraduate studies.
I collapsed on the floor in a mess of unstoppable sobs. I lost track of time, but when the phone rang for the second time, I tried to pull myself together in order to answer as normally as possible. The caller was Mrs. Arya, the wife of Dr. Arya, founder of the Minneapolis Meditation Center. She was not one to be fooled. “Diana, what is wrong? You’ve been crying!” I told her about the move I was facing, and she responded with words of comfort. We spoke for a while, and then she asked, “When is this move going to happen?”
“We’ll need to be in the UK by the end of December,” I answered.
There was a pause, and then Mrs. Arya asked softly, “Why are you crying now?”
My attention came back to my granddaughter, waiting patiently to be assured that I would miss her dreadfully. “Maia,” I began, “You must have some idea of how much I will miss you, and no doubt you’ll be embarrassed by the huge puddle of tears I will make on the day you leave! But, Maia, I cannot feel sad now about your leaving, because you’re here!“
She smiled a satisfied smile.
Diana came to the UK from the USA, and she met Akong Rinpoche and began to visit Samye Ling regularly. When she retired from practising psychotherapy and organisational psychology, she moved to Eskdalemuir and continues to practise learning – in other ways.