I had moved into a large building where several other men also appeared to be living. I hadn't been living there long, and I had moved my few possessions into a sort of dining room, which I had basically converted into my room. In the basement was a fairly nice, carpeted room where I could live with more privacy; but I had decided I liked being in the current of affairs there, and would remain at least for the immediate future in the dining room.
As I was standing there in the room, someone who lived in the house walked in. Perhaps he was Peter Lamborghini (a fellow I met at the Dallas Zen Center in 1987). When he mentioned that I could move my things into the basement if I would like, I explained to him that I was satisfied with where I was for the moment and that actually I rather enjoyed coming in contact with the other people living there, even at the expense of some loss of privacy.
We were both glancing around the room at my things which were piled in boxes and sacks on the table, shelves and floor. He pointed out some sacks on the floor and asked if the sacks were mine. I told him they were. It looked as if the sacks contained groceries; a package of potato chips was in one.
I walked over to a shelf along the wall and explained that I still needed to clear off a few things which weren't mine which had been left on the shelf; but most of the stuff there was mine. Actually it looked as if the only thing still there which didn't belong to me was a long candle in a paper box. It belonged to Lamborghini. I picked it up from the shelf to give to him.
It became clear that the room in which I was living was a room in the Dallas Zen Center and that it was indeed Lamborghini with whom I was speaking. Lamborghini's facial features looked fairly young, as if he were perhaps in his mid 20s. He had very short cropped hair and was thin.
It seemed that several other people had entered the room and among them was a young fellow (probably little more than 20 years old). He likewise had only recently moved into the Zen Center. He seemed to me to be an affable, unobtrusive fellow and I immediately took a liking to him.
Lamborghini was now sitting on either a couch or bed in a room directly adjacent to my room; there appeared to be no wall between the two rooms, and we were still close together. The young fellow approached Lamborghini and I heard part of a conversation between the two in which it became clear that the young fellow still hadn't been given a key to the Zen Center and every time he needed the key he had to go to Lamborghini to ask for it.
Lamborghini had set himself up as the guardian of the key. He held the bronze-colored key in his hand and tantalizingly told the young fellow that he, Lamborghini, didn't think the young fellow was ready yet to be given the key. Lamborghini made a sound like, "Nyaaa, Nyaaa, Ne, Nyaaa, Nyaaa" and shook his head back and forth, as if showing his control over the key and the young fellow's powerlessness to obtain it.
I was dissatisfied with the way Lamborghini was behaving. Since several other members of the Zen Center were present, I thought it was a good opportunity to tell Lamborghini how I felt. I wasn't angry at Lamborghini, but I still felt a bit nervous about actually confronting him. Nevertheless, I stood in front of him and began.
I jumped right on the subject; I told Lamborghini that what he was doing was exactly the kind of action which had caused the Zen Center to reach such a low ebb. I told him I thought that he in particular was responsible for the lack of interest in the Zen Center because of his attempts to control it. He leaned back on the bed and laughed slightly as if what I was saying was simply being said in jest. I maintained, "This is no laughing matter. I am deadly serious. I want you to hear this."
It was quite obvious he didn't want to hear what I had to say, although I did seem to note some vague acknowledgment in his demeanor, some spark, that there might be some truth in what I was saying.
As I spoke, I pointed to him several times with the index finger of my left hand, trying to emphasize what I was saying, trying to break through the barrier which he was trying to wrap around himself as he lay back on the couch or bed. I spoke fairly forcefully because I felt it was important to put the point across.
I continued stating that his withholding the key and exerting that kind of control was simply a manifestation of his own desire to control the situation there. I said that this type of thing was the crux of the reason why the Zen Center wasn't flourishing.
I continued, "I've expressed this to others and now I'm expressing it to you. I hope what I'm saying sinks in, because it's true."
When I use the word "true," I realized I wasn't an authority on what was the truth. Yet I felt the word there was properly placed.
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