Monday, March 29, 2004


several people milling in the foyer of the sangha

"We went walking in Forest Park and it was covered in tender new nettles..."

"...making nettle tea, and some splashed out onto my hand..."

"Yes, making nettle tea. like Milarepa"

Milarepa, 12th Century? Tibetan Yogin, lived for years on nothing but nettles while he meditated in a cave. He turned green from eating nettles.

"'Eat good food.'"


"The note?"

"Stung by the nettles you mean?"

"No, by boiling water on my hand."

"We got stung, too, a couple times. We picked them with grocery receipts"

"Yes, the note in his topknot. You know, Marpa sent him off with a note to read when things got so bad he couldn't take it anymore. So when his nettle-pot broke..."

"You went picking nettles with grocery receipts?"

"No, no, we didn't set out to pick nettles. They were just there, and we were walking."

"That's what we had in our pockets."

"That's right, his nettle-pot broke, and there was a whole, like, mold of the nettle-pot, where the nettles had built up on the inside."

"So then he had nothing to eat up there in his cave. And he was getting weaker and weaker, till he couldn't meditate. So he remembered the note in his topknot."

"Then what did he do?"

"He made up a song, of course"

Milarepa's famous for improvising songs. 'The Ten Thousand Songs of Milarepa,' is a classic of Tibetan poetry

(Martha croons) "I'm so bluuuuuuuueeee.... now that I'm not greeeeeeeen."


"And the note said, 'Eat good food'"

"I thought that was the Buddha? The girls in the village made him eat?"

"No, no. I mean yeah, that happened to the Buddha too."

"But so Milarepa was really hungry."

"And then" appealing to lama Michael "he ran into some hunters, right?"

Lama Michael nods solemnly "And killed them and ate them."


"But by that time he was really good at getting rid of bad karma. Didn't take him hardly any time at all to get rid of it."

(more laughter)

"He did not kill and eat the hunters. They gave him some meat"

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