Tag Archives: Annie Dibble

Healing the Wounded Heart



Almost two years ago I found myself unexpectedly in a hospital bed awaiting a common but serious medical procedure to unblock an artery. I had just returned from a trip to visit my daughter in the US, and could count a few mostly work-related flights in the five months prior to that, including a trip to a very remote part of northern India where for a month my days had begun with a mile-long walk up a very steep path for breakfast at 6 am. Over time I’d found myself getting more and more breathless, and put it down to lack of fitness but, back in Ireland, I decided to consult my GP who immediately referred me to the emergency chest pain unit.  Within two hours I was sitting in front of a young hospital registrar, still expecting to be told to get out and exercise more. However what he said took what was left of my breath away: I had an eighty-percent blockage that was preventing oxygen (lifeblood) from flowing into my heart. Fortunately, he said, my heart was not damaged and could be fixed.

I meditate regularly, read and teach on matters of the heart, and have spent many years sitting with people as they explore mind-heart matters, struggling with their stuck places: creating the space for them to paint away the barriers to feelings with watery paint on paper, to help create a movement, a shift, a flow that would allow emotion to be felt.  In the meantime, my own heart had been quietly shutting down. Continue reading




autumn leaves

Hello to all the readers of Many Roads.

Up here in Scotland the days are becoming colder and the nights longer.  Out come the warm clothes, hats, gloves, thermals and scarves.  That’s how it is in the autumnal, northern hemisphere.  The scattering of leaves on the pavements adds a certain melancholic poignancy to the season.

There is a feeling that we are in for a long, cold winter.

However, a warm thanks to the readers who have posted comments on the published articles.  Your thoughts are welcome. 

Several new articles have been published recently.  There has been positive feedback on Anni Dibble’s heart-felt article A Tribute to Akong Rinpoche.  

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche also wrote a revealing article, which originally appeared on the main page of Bodhicharya, outlining his memories of the late Akong Rinpoche.

Dr Sangeeta Rajbhandary has written about the recent festival of Ghantakarna in Kathmandu.  There is very little separation between Buddhist and Hindus in the valley, thus the Hindu/Buddhist in the title.

The Ten Commandments for Foreign Travel in India by Upasana Pokhriyal contains some invaluable advice for both seasoned and new travellers in India, and especially for women in the context of recent events in the country. 

And Ani Rinchen Khandro, a nun based at Samye Dzong in Edinburgh, has written an account of her discovery of Buddhism in her article Approaching Buddhism and her subsequent experience on retreat and after on Holy Island.

Mail Chimp sends out any new articles on a weekly basis to subscribers.  If you haven’t already subscribed, you can do this at the bottom of the About tab on the Many Roads site.


Wishing everyone a peaceful and relaxed time this coming season and hoping to hear from you soon.






Only the impossible is worth doing’[1].

 Choje Akong Rinpoche was indeed, as described by Colum Kenny in the Irish Independent newspaper this week, a remarkable man:  tulku, father, husband, lama, teacher, labourer, refugee, politician, healer, soothsayer, pure visionary, founder of Samye Ling and the Rokpa and Tara Trusts.  A trusted guide to thousands of people in Europe and Asia, he had time for everyone and was utterly fearless.  Everything Akong Rinpoche did appeared to have been accomplished effortlessly, and yet what he alone achieved through sheer doggedness in his lifetime was unimaginable in ordinary human terms.  Apart from the dozens of schools, medical colleges, monasteries and nunneries he has built in Tibet, one little known project was to oversee the reconstruction of the mani wall,  originally built with the stones that Dza Patrul Rinpoche had carved, that stretches for a mile across Dzachuka in eastern Tibet.  All of that work has happened ‘under the radar’ mainly for political reasons, but also because he worked with a quiet determination that came of knowing what he had to do and just getting on with it. No fanfare, no accolade, just a relentless drive to benefit others, helping where help was needed, no matter what the personal risk.

This year in Samye Ling, the last stage of the monastery and shedra building has been completed, Continue reading