Last year I went to Long Beach to receive the Yamantaka empowerment from the Dalai Lama. "Impermanence" - as it was said several times during the event - manifested its presence in Saturday and we were informed that the Dalai Lama was still in Japan and couldn't come. Already one of the paramitas made its appearance very clear: Patience! Immediately the typical Western concern followed: "I am not worthy. How arrogant of me to think that I could actually receive this Highest Yoga Tantra, and from His Holiness at that!" Back to the Northern California and back to my meditation in the redwoods. This disappointment even took a disturbing manifestation that needed a lot of extra contemplation about the emptiness: Every time I looked at the Dalai Lama's picture a thought forced its way to my consciousness: "My inauspicious karma is finally getting me. There is no way I can rejoice about this "karmic ripening", however valuable." Then in January the news came that the Dalai Lama was going to be in Long Beach again with an intention to give the Yamantaka empowerment. At that point I made a decision. I will stop most of my unnecessary activities and simply focus on my spiritual path, whatever it takes. And the karma "kept ripening". I became sick, had to plan a move to another location from my beautiful retreat, and a new wave of depression came crashing over me. A perfect preparation for the Yamantaka event. What a difference a year makes! When I received the empowerment this April the 21st I knew I was ready for whatever was expected from me. Ready, yes, but still not "worthy" the way I think a Bodhisattva trainee should be. I do take comfort about the knowledge that His Holiness does know that there is a little seed of HUM in my heart that keeps chanting its grace.