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Tremendous, Exciting News!

i

When I was in college I took a class in Tantric Buddhism with my friend Andy. Andy was seriously committed to becoming a Buddha. And I said Andy, I don’t know if I believe in that, but if you ever do become a Buddha I want you to appear to me, and he said he would.

ii

My friend Gawain Smitts’s grandfather, Tolder Smitts, was religious and belonged to a small cult where they wore a special kind of hat and counted their beans before eating them, and Gawain used to write essays about how we’ve lost touch with the comforting world-view of religion which allowed his grandpa to die with a sense of a life well-lived, because he had done the needful, wearing his hat, counting his beans.

iii

Andy never appeared to me.

iv

When Gawain got his diagnosis he tried to obtain the necessary courage by counting his beans and wearing his hat. However a well-meaning cousin gave him a copy of his ancestor, Tolder’s diary in which he confessed that he did not believe in his cult and had not for some years, but simply wore his hat and counted his beans so as to give courage to his wife.

v

Andy never appeared to me because he wanted me to know I shouldn’t depend upon other people appearing as Buddhas to believe in Buddhas, just as if when somebody wakes you up you don’t need them to tell you “by the way you are awake now.” You either know it or you don’t and I know it.

vi

Gawain got better. Andy I lost touch with years ago. And this morning after sleeping for eight hours I got an excellent piece of news. Truly tremendous, exciting, wonderful, amazing news!

vii

May you have good news too!

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