POSTCARD #216: Somehow I’ve been thinking about Dipa Ma lately; the Bengali meditation teacher who had such a large influence on IMS teachers like Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield and others who believe she was an enlightened being. Just looking at her face on the cover of the book, such a welcoming presence. There are accounts of people who never met Dipa Ma having seen/felt Dipa Ma’s grace, her loving kindness – not in a strange or exceptional way, quite ordinary. Whenever there’s a moment that requires special compassion, the presence of Dipa Ma is there.
That’s how it is for me now; it’s like she’s here by my side. It’s as if she is saying to me that this present moment is absolutely right as it is, no need for anything else. Gone are all stray and wandering thoughts that tend to cling; they just disappear. How can it be possible to have the feeling you are close to someone you’ve never met and all you know is what you’ve read about her? I think it’s because that’s just how she was; always approachable, she welcomed everyone. Dipa Ma was asked once about loving-kindness and mindfulness: ‘From my own experience, there is no difference between mindfulness and loving kindness.’ For her, love and awareness were one…. When you are fully loving, aren’t you also mindful? When you are mindful, is this not also the essence of love?’[Amy Schmidt]
These days I often think about her, whenever I’m in a difficult situation I find Dipa Ma is here too, deep breaths, and everything is ok.
‘Saintly beings, whether they are the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Dipa Ma, or one thousand unknown saintly beings living amongst us, share the same fundamental characteristic of selflessness, great compassion, and peace. Each one of us can carry Dipa Ma’s legacy in terms of having that much peace and love. It takes its own time, yet it’s possible for anyone. In the end the point is not to be like Dipa Ma or some other great yogi or saint you might read about. The point is something much more difficult: to be yourself and to discover that all you seek is to be found, here and now, in your own heart.’ [Jack Kornfield]