I'm a thrice-returner to buddhism, as I like to think, and this final time I hope I have entered the boddhisattva yana, with as much humility as possible.
My introduction to buddhism, 20+ yrs ago, was mostly through mindfulness/theravadin inspired western movements or variants of traditions, with a bit of zen thrown in... I was not a particularly good sravaka, unfortunately, always feeling guilty about not meditating, or not meditating properly enough, and the promise of nirvana seemed a bit, well, monochromatic and lonely.
Second time around, during a particularly difficult period of my life, I was just trying to find a sangha... but did not (not that there was much choice here where I live). I wanted to start a practice, something simple, and just be a part of a support group, but for whatever reason it didn't happen. Eventually, I resigned to solitary reading, and reading can be very confusing without guidance.
This third time, after practically giving up, I have been blessed to receive empowerment by a Tibetan teacher, almost by chance, and suddenly everything makes sense!
It's my first empowerment and first encounter with a non-Western teacher, and it's exactly what I was wishing for for so long - something simple just to start the practice and inspire me, something to cut through my pride, need to intellectualize and tendency to talk idly ... I am very, very grateful that I had the opportunity to receive it. Also, in some inexplicable way, I took the empowerment as if I was always in that tradition, with surrender, trust and even adoration - which is certainly not something that my pride would normally allow me to do. I get the guru thing completely now!
And to mention, in some strange way, this particular empowerment brought me back to Christianity, even though I was never really there, always intimidated by Catholic pomp.
So, that's it, small steps from now on. Thanks for reading and forgive my elation and if I come across a bit devotional... for some, me certainly, faith and devotion can be powerful antidotes too.