ON FRIDAY NIGHT, May 7, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, concluded his six-city paperback book tour with a talk and book signing at the elegant and capacious (1,100 seats) Chan Center at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
Filling nearly every seat in the house at $18 each, with 850 tickets pre-sold, the audience laughed and cried and appeared to fall in love with the head of Shambhala International. After the talk, which included a moving guided meditation on compassion, people stood in a line that snaked through the length of the theater lobby and out onto the patio. At least one person waited only in order to express her gratitude for the Sakyong’s having changed her life in that talk.
Prior to the talk and book signing, Rinpoche had appeared on BCTV (with a viewership of 800,000 people in the Vancouver area) in a program that included several aspects of his life: shots of the athlete running, the author answering the interviewer's questions, and the teacher giving meditation instruction and a talk at the Vancouver Shambhala Center. The program was aired three times as a news item. As a result of the television coverage, Rinpoche was spotted and recognized by such people as the manager of the local running store and the airline ticket agent who processed his ticket to Victoria.
The Learn to Meditate Workshop that followed the public talk—taught by Acharya Jenny Warwick on Saturday—was attended by nearly thirty participants.
Rinpoche was extremely pleased by the warm and gracious welcome he received in Vancouver, and commented that it was wonderful to conclude his Turning the Mind into an Ally tour on such a high note. Expressing his deep gratitude to the many people in every city who hosted him on this tour, as well as last year’s tour celebrating the publication of the hardcover—Rinpoche wishes to convey his joy that “the flower is turning outward.”