Memories, Dreams and Reflections of the 16th Karmapa: The Knower of the Three Times

by Rager Ossel
In 1976 I got off a truck at Rumtek Monastery. No one knew I was coming but apparently His Holiness asked a monk to go down into the fields to pick me up. The monk took my luggage as we ran uphill towards the Karmapa’s summer palace. They pulled me, ‘Come, Come,Come’. As I passed the guesthouse the jalings started. His Holiness was outside in front of the summer palace, sitting on a small throne with a wall behind him, holding the Black Crown in his hands. He waited for me to sit down in front, looked at me and then he put the Crown on his head. I had no idea about anything. That was the first meeting. It was like everything was synchronized; the timing was exact.
He entered into a deep (meditation) .. it was like we melted.. It was a meeting in which I went into his being, his world. Everything danced like that, very spontaneously.
We were going shopping for birds in the countryside of Holland driving towards a well-known breeder. En route we drove through a small village. His Holiness said stop here. We went to the door of a very simple house and rang the doorbell. The wife opened the door. I asked if they had birds. And she said yes and invited us through the house to the back yard. Her husband was there. Birds were sitting on his hands and shoulders. His Holiness especially loved golden finches. The man was at one with the birds and soon they were both talking continuously to the birds. Their sound was so beautiful; it was an experience to hear it. The man brought out a huge bird cage and placed a very ill bird into His Holiness’ hands; immediately it flew away. He put a few birds into a cage and gave it to His Holiness. So we got his birds but we never made it to the shop and we actually didn’t meet the big bird breeder at all.
On another occasion I was driving to Antwerp to meet His Holiness. There was a rainbow; every time I was going to see His Holiness there were rainbows. He used to give me presents all the time, all kinds of things. When I was driving I thought of a very nice Chinese lacquer pen and how I would like the pen.
When I arrived I prostrated to His Holiness. I saw his hand go into his shirt. He was picking up a pen and then his hand was going in my direction to reach out. Suddenly he looked at me with this huge laughing face and put his other hand around his hand and pulled it back again. His smile and personality melted everything. My thought was gone for all time. It was an essential teaching for me.
His Holiness was invited by Trungpa Rinpoche for Losar. He wanted us to sit there all day and talk together with Akong Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa. There was no way to get past the guards so His Holiness put me under his chuba and wrapped his arms around me very tightly; and we walked like that up the stairs. I was there from morning till evening with him.
In ’79 near Lille I found myself on the road looking for a hotel in the middle of the night. I had just been released after three months following a very big mission for His Holiness. I was responsible for some important articles belonging to him and had been out of circulation. No one knew where I was. After half an hour I found a hotel. Of course I didn’t have a reservation. As soon as I entered the room the phone rang. It was His Holiness! He was calling directly from the reception to the room.
I was quite confused by the situation that I had found myself in during those three months. He gave me encouragement about my practice and confidence that everything was fine. This episode was timeless.


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