Paul Giraud (aka ‘Taxi Paul’ or ‘Babes’) interviewed by Arthur Mandelbaum in New York City, October 2009 – video length 22m:37s.
Arthur Mandelbaum wrote:
Paul would like the name Paul Giraud used. His nicknames are Taxi Paul (old days) and Babes (nowadays) as he’s been calling his friends ‘babes’ for years.
He was born in Bombay (Mumbai), Bridge Candy, in 1937, but grew up in Connecticut, USA. In the early ’60s he met Geshe Wangyal and his student John Brzostoski in New Jersey.
Paul was driving a taxi for several years in NYC before leaving for India upon John’s suggestion that he study Vipassana meditation with Manindra at the Burmese Vihara in Bodhgaya. He stayed in India from 1965 to 1981. From Gaya he traveled to Goa and Sri Lanka.
Manindra suggested he go to Kathmandu to meet another Vipassana teacher, but when Paul discovered the Tibetans he connected with them. He met Karmapa XVI and all the great lamas of the day. He knew Princess Zena, Thubten Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche and was there when Richard Tenzin sold Zena’s thangkas to raise $30,000 to buy Kopan.
Since ’81 he has returned to India every few years and was with Jasper Newsome at the 2001 Kumbha Mela at Prayag (Allahabad).
John Brzostoski (no links found – an artist, professor, and one of the first Western students of Geshe Wangyal).
Thanks to Paul Giraud, who delved into his memories at a difficult time and brought a lot of pleasure to us by doing so.
Thanks also to Arthur Mandelbaum for facilitating this so well with his FLIP video camera and laid back interview technique.
There will be more from Paul from time to time, आलक्नथ बोम शन्कर- ओम नमह शिवाय – हर हर महादेव as we wish him all the best. Alakhnath, bom Shankar .