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The Diamond Mountain Blog

This is an unofficial blog of news and info from Diamond Mountain University and Retreat Center which was founded by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of the Dalai Lamas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lama Dome Dailies, Dec 20

From under midnight stars, Katrina Siazik types:

Sometimes we work late into the night with the generator humming in the near distance and lights shining in the valley below us. Tonight is one of those nights. I sit here under the completed dome structure listening to the quiet rhythm of cobbers still slapping on the mixture of mud and straw to shape our precious dome walls. With only one more day left to finish the dome, the crew worked until 9:30pm with Bert applying plaster to the entry way, and the rest of us finishing our duties of making cob, shaping the dome, and lying the cobblestone for the front door. Every inch is now covered with cob, just a few more areas need shaping before applying the whitewash and then plaster.

Our work day begins around 11am offering everyone enough time to do their morning practice, whether it be yoga or meditation, this helps set a divine intention for the day on the mountain. at 10:45am we gather at the campground to pile into the back of pickups which take us up the steep and rocky dirt road to the trailhead. To ensure silence near the retreat area, we must ascend the steep terrain of the back side of the mountain with our gear for the day. This is not an easy task, and you can imagine the descent at night can be slow and dangerous. On the hike up, I always know I'm getting close when my shins brush against a few shin-daggers on the trail and I step over the prickly pear near the top. Winded, we set our packs down and all gather in a circle for council.

This is our special part of the day where we tune into each other. Even though there is much work to get done and the deadline is approaching, we still take the time to patiently and quietly listen to each other without any inner dialog of our own. We speak from our hearts and set our intentions for the day. I believe that this is the reason why we are still going strong. It gives us time to tune in to everyone, allowing compassion to flow forth, keeping us open and connected.

We are blessed to have mild weather right now. It is not too windy or cold. The occasional hot coffee or cocoa being passed around helps spread the smiles. Although smiles are not hard to come by around here. Building an earth dome is hard work, but with a team full of love, support and understanding it is hard not to smile. Our bodies ache with soreness, we get tired and exhausted, cold and wind burnt. Yet I look around and all I see is encouragement and support, laughter and the occasional song being sung. We go on. We know that what we are doing here is much more than building a structure. There is something greater and more powerful being created here and it is all done with love. Each one of us will take this creation with us when we leave. For our work here has changed us, it has opened us. We will go home to our family and friends and work place and every one we encounter will be touched with this divine creation inside of us, this magic that is held in our hearts.

It was a clear starlit sky tonight. I sat by the fireplace and looked out into the lit valley listening to the pounding of the cob being applied to the dome. It is a beautiful rhythm. No one here is giving up on this project. We will work well into the night if we have to. One day left – it will get done, it will pass inspection. It is perfect. The date couldn't be more perfect. Dec 22 the day after solstice, Je Tsongkapa day and Tsechu. This day marks the return of light and miracles for us.

We had many new beautiful angels with us today: Jill, Laurie, Will, Mercedes, Alex and Eliana all came up. Eight of us who were here for the long term left last night. I will miss everyone dearly. I am so very grateful to have been here when I could, I will hold you all in my heart. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when when it is done. For the first time in my life, I haven't been planning or thinking ahead into my future. I've just wanted to be here with everyone in the present while we work on something greater than us, more powerful than we know.

Thank you Bert, for being our fearless leader, holding the space for us with tolerance and love. You are love. For this we are grateful.

Images of the Day, December 20, 2008


Blogger Rabbithorns said...

Thanks Katrina for telling such a beautiful story. It's wonderful to have a place to come to keep in touch. You are all so kind to write about the days as we eagerly tune in for news and pix of friends we haven't seen for awhile. Love to all from Tucson! Love to Bert especially who has been carrying the Dome like no one else. To learn to serve, just follow Bert around...Allison ps: thanks to Evan for this blog all these years..

December 22, 2008 10:20 AM  

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