The Copper Walk Experiment – Sandra Martin

During the late 80s, I had a friend who was dating the Dali Lama’s nephew.  The boy friend’s name was Tenzin.  I discovered many young Tibetan boys were named Tenzin- The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso- the Dali Lama’s first name.

The first time I attended a talk at Tibet House I didn’t know anyone and was sitting on a little settee alone. Obviously I was the one out-of-towner. Everyone seemed to know everyone else and was chatting away. After a while, someone can in, someone I hadn’t noticed, but who walked over and asked if he could sit next to me. When I looked up I almost had a heart attack because it was Richard Gere. He introduced himself and I introduced myself.

You’re from the South?


Are you interested in Buddhism?


What brought you to this talk?

Then I somehow untied my tongue and I talked nervously for about 30 minutes nonstop about growing up on a tobacco farm in rural Virginia, moving to New York City and knowing no one, starting a new business and being in a state of high anxiety almost 24/7. Meditation was my savior I explained. And on and on.

I got here tonight because I had hired a woman to produce a short series for NHK (Japanese public broadcasting) on Cowgirls and she was dating the Dali Lama’s nephew.

So here I am.

Richard Gere was gracious and wonderful and seemed actually interested in hearing my story. When the talk was announced, we stood and he took my elbow and walked me into the main room and made sure I got a good seat as he walked up to the front to introduce the Dalai Lama.

When I got back to my little apartment that night, I called my daughter in Richmond and squealed and carried on about Richard Gere sitting by me, talking with me and I was over the moon excited. She’d been sound asleep, but woke up fast and got all excited too. She was telling her husband as I told her. I heard him say, “I don’t believe a word of it.”

I attended quite a few talks and met many of the Tibetans and even researchers. One of them had a Copper Wall for intensive in-depth meditative experiences.

I believe it was one of these Tibetans who taught Elmer Green how to build the Copper Wall and how to use it.  Basically it consisted of four copper sheets, magnets and wood, no metal, glass blocks underneath a chair to block the earth rays.

Dr. Green had read about a “Copper Wall” when a metaphysician traveled to Tibet 1882 and written a journal about his trip. This Copper Wall was described.  It was a process to build self-awareness. Elmer Green and his wife, Alyce’s claim to fame was that they researched and developed Biofeedback. Hence their extreme interest in altered awareness.

He was eager to test it on Americans and mostly Americans who were known to be psychically developed and entered altered states easily.

The Tibetan offered his Copper Wall Experience to whoever wanted to participate in the process of developing a deeper meditation.

I felt totally at home with the Tibetans. I loved their robes, their blessings, the inner peace and calm and their centered personalities. Also they seemed to have a tremendous sense of life as being fun and laughed and giggled at the craziness of New York. The extreme differences between the temples and schools in Tibet and the streets of Manhattan were a source of entertainment and lessons of humility and resourcefulness and deep spiritual growth.

Life was extremely stressful for me in New York City so I availed myself to his generosity often. Sometimes I thought it was all that kept me from flying apart. I’d sit there and go into my heart center, breathe deep and be open to support and calm down. It was a life saver for me.