The Ten-Second Driver’s Test
Marjorie Ann Morgan and I drove to Pacific Grove, California, to visit a Tibetan Lama, a personal friend of the Dalai Lama.
Margie planned to lend Lama Lobsang Geshe Gyatso her car so he could take a driver’s test at the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
“Geshe” led us through a morning puja after we all had showered and finished breakfast.
He chanted in Tibetan such things as, “I present to you, Great Merit Field, beautiful offerings of water, various flowers, fragrant incense, lights, perfumes, and more, both actual and visualized offerings, vast as clouds and wide as the ocean.”
After the morning puja, Margie and I took Geshe to a local college parking lot for some pre-test practice.
It soon became evident that Geshe was nowhere near ready to take his driver’s test!
Nevertheless, we showed up at the California DMV in Monterey for Geshe’s 9:00 a.m. appointment.
Margie was convinced that Geshe was going to smash her dearly beloved automobile to smithereens. She “put white light around” her car, seeking assistance from any motor vehicle angels in the neighborhood.
The DMV instructor inspected the automobile and then entered it.
She directed Geshe to pull forward, and he followed instruction to the extreme.
Geshe burned rubber, jumped up over the curb, and narrowly avoided lunging through the DMV window!
The instructor’s legs were shaking as she exited the car.
She asked Margie to move the car and had Geshe sign the testing form.
She nodded in the direction of Geshe, and said, “He needs more control.”
Geshe was unaffected by the entire incident.
He smiled as the instructor walked away, commenting, “She’s a nervous young lady.”
“My morning puja protected us,” he continued. “Nothing bad happened to us.”
I was privileged — not to mention in danger — to give the Lama further driving instructions.
Geshe insisted on driving without shoes.
We weaved, stalled, swerved, meandered, and jounced through the neighborhood streets.
We jolted and undulated past a Pacific Grove police car, but the cop paid us no heed.
Fortunately for Margie’s peace of mind, Geshe and I drove around in his car — the headlights were already smashed from a previous driving lesson.
Later that afternoon, Geshe and I drove Margie’s car all around one of the parking lots at the college.
At least one thing was accomplished— I talked Geshe into wearing shoes.
Margie prudently stayed back at Geshe’s house throughout both of these driving lessons.
“We were protected by my morning puja,” the Lama insisted.