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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.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lama Dome Dailies, Dec 21

Through the and tired and tear-filled but smiling eyes of Ben Kramer.

Today was our last day of work before the inspection. It's Tsechu, Je Tsongkhapa Day, Solstice, and the first night of Hanuka.

At the end of our efforts here to reach this deadline, there is a building. This physical structure is a symbol of an effort of will that has had to move through layer upon layer of thick mental barrier before it could even begin to reach the earth that has been moved into the shape of the dome. Every gram of earth represents a pound of affliction pulled aside from the path the would have otherwise barred our wills from pushing our bodies into this seemingly impossible task.

Everyone has changed who has had their hands in this project. We have gained the gift of our own accomplishment. We have seen what will can be mustered through the ever-growing power of love for our friends. So many emotional times have come and gone. I have tried time after time to tell my precious friends, my fellow soldiers how much I value them, how much they have changed me, drawing out new strength in me through their tireless efforts and my yearning not to fail them. As I said goodbye to friends tonight, there seemed no more to say. I know that they know. I see that they have seen the same miracle in me and in themselves.

All we have to show to other people is this building, but everyone who worked there knows that the secret is in the hearts of those who have dedicated themselves to this task.
Now we return ourselves back into the world and test our new found strength on the world at large.

A great miracle happened here amongst these great and holy people. I don't trust myself to name, to credit each of those who deserve credit. I mostly think of Bert.

Most of us our leaving tomorrow. Bert will be here.
We all congratulated each other on the completion of our task. Bert praised us and rejoiced with us. He gave us the gift of feeling our completion of this task.
He will keep working. After the inspection the dome must still be plastered to seal it for the winter. He still has a lot of work ahead of him before his break comes. He doesn't mention this. He just thanks us; smiles with us; cries with us.

I expect we will pass our inspection tomorrow. The building is sealed. The meditation dome is capped. The shape of the great building is beautiful.

There's nothing like it. Pictures don't do it justice. You just don't see the dome without the adrenalin that it takes to make the steep ascent to the peak of that hill. The inspector will get to see the real dome. Each step of the climb, each hard fought foot hold up the rear path to the dome intensifies the shock of this great physical structure at the top of the hill, so far beyond roads, beyond ground.

It is a structure dwarfed by the friendship, the camaraderie, the love, which has been forged in the hearts of the warrior angels who have given their wills to its formation.

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