Walking in the fearless footsteps of the Buddha Dharma in Sweden

Many years ago, when I was still a nun, I had the incredible opportunity to meet with the dharmic heroine Gudrun Hegardt. Unfortunately, she is no longer with us, but she acted as an essential anchor for the Dharma to come alive in our dark snowy land of the north during her days.

Without her fearless progress, the introduction of the Buddha Dharma to this frozen soil would have slowed down, and more than one beautiful opportunity to connect with the Buddhist wisdom path for the natives here would have been lost forever.

She greeted great Lamas upon arrival, made sure they had a place to stay, and planned and organized for their longed-for arrivals. She sat with the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa as His Holiness performed the black crown ceremony in Stockholm for the first time during his era. She was also one of the first in this country to meet His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche in his previous incarnation, and so enjoy the nectar of Dharma flowing from these prominent masters visiting our native land.

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Gudrun was one of the precious key holders that opened the door for the Dharma to flourish in Sweden.

Emaho! I rejoice in her merit!

Meeting her over a cinnamon roll and a hot drink, her depth, wittiness, and sensitivity touched my heart. It was a joy and a true honor to make this connection. She was already in her 90s then and spent most of her time in bed. And with the earth as her witness, she didn’t waste her precious life but lived a life full of spirituality.

However, since the golden days of Dharma activities in Sweden during the 1980s, the Dharma has almost fallen into a sleeping beauty state. That state has been prolonged over decades now in Sweden.

If it weren’t for a few torch-bearers that have kept the dharmic light burning in this cold dark corner of the world, this would have been an even darker place than it already is.

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Once upon a time, there was even a classical three-year retreat held in Sweden under His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche. The few Swedish Lamas and senior dharma practitioners that were still around when I first came to know them years back have scattered into the shadows since long. But the warm light I had the good fortune to receive through Gudruns clear blue eyes was filled with sincere and delightful strength—an important meeting between two different dharma generations.

I feel grateful that there was still time to discover some of the precious dharma jewels of Sweden while they were still around. To connect with the pathways they created and the merit they assembled. I feel humble before following in the footsteps of such pragmatic and fearless heroines and heroes. And bow joyfully to the fact that decades of moldered leaves cant hide the dharmic seeds that once started to take root and were planted in this northern mother soil.

I fold my hands with bursting joy for the new sprouting dharma buds that long to break free and embrace the whole space with their fresh petals. I welcome a new spring for the Swedish Buddha Dharma and the global international community that we are in this digital age.

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Published by Lama Chimey

Buddhist Minister, Meditation & Dharma Teacher

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