…Of Chung Tai Sunnyvale. Huge noisy crowds. Huge expense. People from all over converging. Almost fainted from hunger, since it was one and I hadn’t eaten anything since 8 that morning. And the lecture went on…and on…and on…for 2 1/2 hours. Every social/economic problem on CNN for the past 5 years & also many, many references to Silicon Valley being a center for innovation in electronics (yawn) and a 20 minute diversion about the new IPhone. When Fearless Leader started yammering on about Ebola originating in the African jungle I finally yanked off the headset & ducked out of the side door for a food run. As it happened I didn’t find food, but at least some time was spent driving in the fresh air. (He was still at it when I got back.)
Then…a friend had made me promise to show up for the “tea party” to “honor” the Dharma Support teams. Now–once again!–I should have learned my lesson. A tea party here is is never a tea party. I had now heard a total of three windy lectures by Fearless Leader. Yes, I had wanted to ride the bus to Lafayette on Sunday morning to see Buddha Gate in daylight, but it wasn’t worth sitting through a fourth lecture, so……..I ended up sitting through a fourth lecture here at the monastery! Another two hours! And–to top it off–no one had clued me in that translation was available for that one, so I listened to Mandarin for 2 hours. I was in an inside seat so this time I couldn’t duck out a door. My brain–by that time in total fatigue–was playing tricks on me, building stories and scenarios around the incomprehensible syllables of Fearless Leader. Maybe my passive-aggressive friend from NY might have turned around and seen me semi-comatose without a headset and given me a word? Or maybe one of the thousands of other Chinese there in the dining hall? Blond head? Blue eyes? No headset on? Increasingly murderous expression? An old (true) story: Girl to best friend asks “Why did you let me walk around all day with a piece of toilet paper dangling off my shoe?” Best friend, “Oh, I thought you wanted it that way.” Oh yeah. I wanted to hear the whole thing in Mandarin. That made it all the more interesting. Never, never, never again.
Note to public speakers–any public speakers. I don’t give a crap how enlightened you think you are: Unless you’re Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler or Jim Jones you actually don’t want to inflict 2 1/2 hour lectures on…anyone. But particularly not on people who are supporting you with monetary funds.