She is the Teacher’s Pet and so I hate her. Yes, this is aversion—the first obstacle to mindfulness. I don’t care. I so want to be the teacher’s pet but I lack the Buddhist chops. The last I knew Buddha was a fat, bald, jolly guy. Now he is thin and in some headdress thing. It seems wrong to waste precious teacher Q & A time on “What happened to fat Buddha?” though I really want to.
Kimberly wears Temple Grandin and Math Whiz-Kid Competition T-shirts. She is a statistician, like the teacher. She pops up like a jack-in-the-box at the teacher’s every need—Adjust lights? Ring bell? Lead sit?—Kimberly is your girl.
She chokes up asking a question about how to send metta (loving-kindness) to ROAD KILL. I have to bite my cheek hard to stifle the giggle but then am ashamed when the teacher tells a beautiful story of a dying fawn in Burma.
At final sharing Kimberly tells of picking thimble berries on the trail and wanting to bring them to Kate like a kid taking an apple to the teacher. Her knowing she is a suck-up makes me like her more and at lunch my feelings grow when I joke that I have never seen 44 people eat fewer brownies in all my life and she admits to having three.
We all want to please our teacher. We can’t help it. Her smile is more precious than gold. We want to bathe in it and then crawl inside and BE her—all that gentle wisdom, kindness beaming like sunlight, but also wry humor that makes her one of us, just a person on the path—-way, way, down the path, but still.
I divide the yogis into two categories—-people I would want to have a beer with (ok, in this crowd probably a chai tea) and not so much. I still don’t think I’d be drinking beer with Kimberly but I can now let her have Teacher’s Pet honors and send a little metta her way too. She’ll need it. There’s a lot of roadkill to get past!