In the late 1960s, Åge Delbanco (also known as Babaji) followed the “hippie trail” from Denmark to India and then found his way up Kopan Hill in Nepal. He arrived about a year after Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Zina Rachevsky had begun creating what would become Kopan Monastery. Later, he went to Vajrapani Institute in Boulder Creek, California, and ended up staying for 13 years. Wolf Price talked to Åge about the early years at Kopan and the time he spent at Vajrapani.
“[In Kopan] Lama Yeshe would be so accepting of everything. There was this English girl who came and she wanted to meditate. She sat down in her room and didn’t eat, didn’t sleep, she just sat down and meditated. I thought that was not so good, but Lama Yeshe said, ‘Oh meditation, very good, very good.’
“I think she meditated for two weeks and then keeled over exhausted. Her father came at that time and brought her home. Later she wrote a letter to Lama, thanked him, and said it was great to go through that and not be stopped. It was always like that. I had all these ideas – Western ideas about what was good and what was bad, right and wrong. It always turned out that I didn’t know what I was believing.”
From Mandala April-June 2012.