Now that we’re leaving Vajrapani in about a month I’ve begun the reflection process. We came down for the interview in late July, so seasonally it is like it was when we first came here. “The Energy” is very different, but the physical place is similar. (People talk about the energy all the time. Normally I’m clueless and have no idea what they are referring to exactly. In this case I just mean the feeling that I get when I walk around. It’s different than it was the first time or even the first few months we were here.)
Early this morning Christina said, “I can’t wait until we have a real house where we can close the door on the animals.” Being in this tiny, not very well designed house with two adults, a dog and a cat has definitely been a challenge. But in a good way, I think. We certainly will appreciate more room, indoor bathrooms, and a host of other things that we’ve gone without for a year.
We’ve also gained and had access to an incredible amount of things though. The Santa Cruz Library has kept me well stocked with books and music. I’ve learned how to live completely off the grid... and not just live that way, but how to setup and maintain something like that. I kind of feel like I could be put anywhere and for a few hundred dollars live pretty comfortably.
And then there are the teachers; Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Ribur Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche, Geshe Michael, Geshe Dakpa, Ven. Robina, Ven. George, Ven. Amy, Ven. Rene, Pat Wells and Brian Smith... I was able to meet and speak with all of these amazing teachers. Plus we saw His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I got to deliver the life-size statue of Lama Yeshe to the Gyuto center. So many amazing things.
People here often say that Montana doesn’t have any Dharma. In a way this is true. It certainly doesn’t have a list that long (and that’s not even everybody, just who I saw). But I had a stronger practice there. People also say that just being at a dharma center is practice enough. I’m not so convinced. You do get enormous benefit, but is it equal to 20 minutes of meditation each morning? I’m not sure.
I’ll miss walking around the stupa. bumping into 25 year practitioners and having a long discussion about “the old days”, and standing in a room with five robed sangha members. These things don’t happen in Montana very often.
posted @ 7:03 AM