A few weeks ago, a student wrote me about a rather unorthodox experience she had with offering a kata to a lama:
"When Lama Khamtrul Rinpoche was visiting here in Massachusetts, you suggested I accept the invitation to go for a blessing. I've never actually been in that situation before, and I didn't really know anything about the offering-scarf thing. I thought they would be available either for purchase on site or they give you one. Needless to say, I was wrong.
"The hosts asked for people to line up to receive the blessing. And when everyone whipped out their traditional Tibetan-style white offering scarves, I said to myself, "Oh noooo!"
"I decided I needed something long and white, so I ran to the bathroom. When I handed him the neatly folded white toilet paper, well, he just started laughing. He gave me the classic affectionate clasping of the cheeks, patting and pinching until my face was quite red. So I now have this great piece of toilet paper (one-ply) that I'm a bit attached to. I now realize that a scarf wasn't really necessary in order to receive a blessing, but I kind of like this one. So, my dear lama: May you never look at toilet paper in the same light again."
Lama Surya Das http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Buddhis ... rings.aspx
"Despite the fact that we are a ceaselessly transforming stream, interdependent with other beings and the whole world, we imagine that there exists in us an unchanging entity that characterizes us and that we must protect and please. A thorough analysis of this reveals that it is only a fictitious mental construct".
Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche.