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May 2, 2011

Just Be Glad You Have a Head.

Maybe you can’t cure your hangover, but you can look on the bright side…

In the early 70s, Rinpoche found it very curious that his Western students were so quick to try to warm up winter with heaters, electric blankets, etc. Their attempts to cool down summer with air conditioners and ice water were also strange. He pointed out that we were always trying to avoid the hotness of hot and the coldness of cold; that we were addicted to a lukewarm life in our attempt to avoid the way things are.

We also used to party a great deal in those days. We’d go to bars before or after Rinpoche’s talks and maybe do a few drugs before dancing the night away in friends’ homes. We were hippie youth and Rinpoche was just beginning to tame us.

On a morning after partying many of us could be found fumbling for aspirin and instant coffee, complaining about headaches and hangovers. Rinpoche found this difficult to understand; cause and effect seemed pretty obvious to him.

On one such morning, Rinpoche caught a friend of mine moaning, “Oh my head!” To this he simply responded, “Just be glad you have a head!”

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