The first decade of her father’s presence in the family was one of great growth and deepening personal awareness for every member – especially before all of the children, including Cassia, come along.
For one thing, her parents’ generation is still working on its Buddhist studies together. As I noted in an earlier draft of my novel What’s Left:
You know, Baba will say one night after our family meditation, most of these enterprises wouldn’t stand a chance if it weren’t for one thing.
Rinpoche, the Tibetan master.
Then the room will fall into a profound reverie.
Well, it was all no doubt pretty exotic to all of them.
And then the vision got even heavier:
It’s the concept of living as a people of the Holy One, however we phrase it. A peaceable people. A peaceable kingdom. The great wisdom or enlightenment.
There was even a question of how much diversity they could manage:
Religions? Say the way a piano is a world apart from a trombone or a double bass or a clarinet, even if they rely on the same kind of musical notation? And that was before your Manoula weighed in on some wildly divergent ethnic musics based on entirely conflicting theoretical foundations.
Well, that got too esoteric, even for me! Play it as you will.
Still, not everybody in the family was so high on the Buddhist excitement:
The Temple Room relocates to the first-floor parlor next to Yiayia Athina before moving altogether to a more public location, one having chambers for our anticipated Rinpoche’s full-time residency. Yiayia Athina makes no secret of being glad to see them go. The chanting was getting on her nerves.
Oh, I’m so glad Cassia stopped talking like this! In the final version, she’s pretty snippy.
Cassia’s family obviously takes all this seriously.
What spiritual practice or source of inspiration is meaningful to you?