Wind Chimes…

On All Hallow’s Eve (aka Halloween), we lost a great and notable spiritual teacher, Grandmaster Kham. Today is his memorial service, the day we say goodbye as a community.

Grandmaster Kham, photo credit: Zamani Feelings, 2013

Grandmaster Kham, photo credit: Zamani Feelings, 2013

If you haven’t ventured to Brooklyn or NYC, you might not have heard of him. It’s also possible you have. He was a venerable spiritual teacher to many.

Off and on for the last 8 years, he had a spiritual meditation and healing center across the street from my apartment. I never meditated in there or got any healing; but when I stopped in to say hello, he was always kind and supportive. He always introduced me to people in his shop as “The Professor” and would recommend my services to them.

He had known of my work for years, including when the Zodiac Lounge used to be right up the street at its birthplace, the now defunct Food 4 Thought Cafe. He stopped by once to support  when we were there. The last time he came to the Zodiac Lounge was in April, at our most recent location at Freebrook Academy, to support us and his mentee (and my former astrology student), Janelle Belgrave. I was very happy about that.

What sticks out the most about Grandmaster Kham besides the assurance of his ever White-cladded splendor, usually seated in front of his center on warm days as you see him pictured above, are the wind chimes that hung over the front door of his center. When I first moved to my current neighborhood, it was a neighborhood in transition. My street was a stubborn firewall against the encroaching gentrification coming from a few blocks above it. There were really no cultural businesses on the block except his–and his wind chimes. The apartment building next to me doubled as a crack hangout with no apparent working doorbells because someone was always screaming for somebody at all hours of the morning or night.   But I also used to hear the wind chimes from my bedroom window. I knew intuitively that those wind chimes had a transformative purpose based  principles that Grandmaster Kham probably had studied from his deep appreciation and knowledge of Egyptian magic, history and lore. Next, my landlady got wind chimes over our building door. I always wondered if he, directly or inadvertently, inspired her.

About 2 years ago, Grandmaster Kham took the chimes down. I don’t know why, but one morning I noticed they were gone. Just before they were taken down though, a mosque had cropped up across from my house; an art gallery followed nearly a year later; a hip, thriving restaurant/bar has opened beneath me (I still groan about that); a  Habitat for Humanity housing condo complex is thriving next to me; the crack hangout apt. building was completely gutted, renovated  and re-housed with quiet neighbors who like to have subdued parties to make jack-o-laterns at Halloween; and there’s even a chai cafe around the corner. In other words, the neighborhood has changed. Perhaps he knew the chimes had done their job. I can’t say I like all the changes and there’s more work to be done, for sure; but I know the vibration of the neighborhood has elevated. Grandmaster Kham taught me that change does not have to be loud or with loud protests. It can happen with the sound of wind chimes.

For that and much more, I will miss him.

2 Responses to “Wind Chimes…”

  1. Mrs. Jones Says:

    Three times in the past three days I’ve had encounters in our neighborhood with an elderly woman I’d never noticed before in 10 years of living here. First time I was raking leaves. She crossed at the walk to where I was and we talked neighborly, though it gave me pause later in the day for some of what she said. Stuck in my mind. Second two times I would’ve missed her if I hadn’t been at the door and on the porch at those exact moments to see her pass along the cemetery’s sidewalk across the street. Today when I saw her she was dressed in a white trench coat with white scarf (’50s style) around her head. She paused and spent some time looking at a particular tombstone across the street. Naturally I was curious why that one. It takes some looking and some watching and some paying attention over time to notice something like the effect of wind chimes in a neighborhood. Too often our watching is measuring things — measuring what someone else has, measuring who’s doing what, measuring things to pieces. This third encounter today, this lady of the past three days stopped — even stepped away from her walker to get in close — to look at a majestic tombstone engraved with leaves arching around the top. I could see the big, bold family name on it clear as day from across the street on the far corner of our porch. Jones.

    Blessed passing to Grandmaster Kham. Blessed neighborhood watching.

  2. Robert Says:

    Thank you for this wonderful story, keep up the good practice.

    Much Love

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