This was a fantastic blog post!!! You would not believe it… best one ever… but alas, sitting here and the airport, I lost it… as much as I love the macbook air, there are some quirky things that I still don’t get… like trying to add a photo to a blog and how it seems to want to lose my whole blog when I do that…
I’m going to try to replicate it, but well, I was in the zone… who could replicate that?
It’s been a beautiful morning. It seems like it is many things… crisp, cool, sunny and overcast… go figure…
4 am came way too early… but that’s okay, I would not change how I spent my evening before my trip. I got to “chat” with two good friends… one old and one knew and that felt like such a blessing… Maybe it’s just that my heart is really open, as I head off to retreat.
(okay, this is already NOT the last post I wrote and lost… sorry…. )
I remember sitting on my cushion and seeing Thay come out… I just started to cry… it was like years of hardening of the heart just started to melt. And that was him just coming out on stage, in front of all of us… it wasn’t like he sat down with me for a chat.
It made me realize, not matter how open-hearted one tries to be, there are still places of armoring, years of nicks in the heart that one protects oneself from and on that retreat, I was so sadly happy… it was like I was able to touch that soft, raw place that Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche talks about in The Path of the Spiritual Warrior. I felt it in those moments.
I’ve been on a few retreats over the years, usually 5-7 days but they were not happy… I severely injured my back on one, in the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in the world… Boulder Creek, CA, at Vajrapani Institute. I fell in love with the place, despite “walking” away, barely being able to walk for almost two years… Despite that, I remember the break taking grounds, the first banana slug I saw and was mesmerized by, and the warmth and compassion of the staff who were there…. as well as the beautiful peers and teacher I was with for those trips.
I had several back to back trips out there and I have to admit, I remember so little of them because of the amount of pain medicine I was on at the time. It gave me a great appreciation for the experience of the dying person who wants to be present to their dying, to the people around them and yet having something like needed medication cloud EVERYTHING…
But that was several years ago, I’ve had some other pretty bad pain issues but am so happy to say that life is pretty good at the moment and I am walking and talking and doing life every day, every moment.
I am headed out to New Mexico, to the Upaya Zen Center for a retreat on Being With Dying… how extraordinary! I have not worked for hospice for 3 years now and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t mourn that loss. I loved the work. And I can’t wait until I am in the position to get back into thanatology as a practice and not just a research and academic endeavor.
One of the friends I was speaking to last night was a friend that I met while doing hospice. She was a great CNA. Truly loving, spontaneous, and present to her patients. It saddens me that she is no longer working at hospice though I understand her decisions. My hope, for some day in the future, would be to have my own retreat center for the dying and the bereaved to come, be present, and heal…
I am lucky that although my current job is not the most optimal for my heart, I have an incredible group of people who are helping me this week while I am away so I can go to NM and be where my heart is. I value their skills, their teamwork, and their endless help.
For now, I continue my own practices. I lend an ear to the grieving passerby that I meet. I write. I try to stay present and be.
May you find safety and comfort.
May you have health and stay free from pain.
May you experience great love.
May you give deep compassion.