We are sitting in the quiet quadrangle of Casa da Torre. There is the sound of birds in the distance. In the centre of the square is a white statue of Saint Mary, mother of Jesus. The Casa da Torre is situated four miles north of Braga in Portugal and is a Jesuit centre for Spirituality and Culture. We are attending Ringu Tulku’s summer camp and people from many different countries have arrived to listen to the teachings on Mahamudra – The Moonlight by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal.
On the bench beside me is Tanya: born in Croatia, having been brought up in Bosnia before moving to Serbia, she speaks to me in perfect English and in a pleasing Eastern European accent, I like to say I’m from Yugoslavia.
I met Ringu Tulku Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado where I lived for about eight-years or so. I met him in 1998. Tanya was there with her husband who wanted to study at Naropa University. Not being interested in Buddhism at that time, although she was interested in studying dharma while he studied, Tanya worked as a nurse in a hospital. However, she did meet some of the senior students of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche while she was in Boulder, but because of her lack of English at that time, her understanding of Buddhism was limited.