Friday, May 22, 2009

Mazé Kouyaté

My dear friend and teacher, Mazé Kouyaté, died unexpectedly this week in Bamako. We suspect it was a cerebral hemmorhage.

Mazé was a very intuitive and powerful teacher. When I studied with him, he never said a word, or even used facial expressions, but would just demonstrate what he wanted me to do and wait until I got it. I will never forget what a thrill it was when it all finally clicked. I didn't know until afterwards that it was a thrill for him, too!

I came back from Mali with his drum, which was, for me, an extraordinary honor.

And while this is a profound personal loss, I also feel deeply grateful that I got a chance to study with and be friends with this gentle and wonderful man.

Tu me manques, mon cher. Toujours.


Paul Maurice Martin said...

Sorry to hear this. The drum must be a comfort. It seems as though one doesn't learn a lot about Mali from the news - hopefully because the news is mainly good.

It happens that tomorrow I'm doing a guest post on someone who played a similar role for me. It was a single incident, but very instructive and with minimal words.

In my experience, effective spiritual teachers - I don't mean authors or public speakers here, but rather people who are effective in one on one encounters - are few and far between.

Rachel Nguyen said...


Thank you for this.

All who knew him knew that Mazé was an extraordinary person.

Last week I utterly grief stricken.

Strangely, this week, all I feel is the joy of having known him, however briefly.

I can't help thinking that he, himself, has been praying for me.

Please post a link to your guest post. I'd love to check it out.