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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.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

     I just re-watched Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" video.  It took a long time to download so I kept rewinding the thing back to the beginning to watch what I could.  There is some sort of deeper message in that dance number.  I don't know what it is.  Something profound is being communicated.  I think that in the future there will be Tibetan style Thangka paintings depicting Angels and Dakini's as Beyonce and her dancer retinue.  It will be more relevant to American Buddhists.  The emotional response to these paintings will be strong.  
    Five more people got their Certificate of Occupancy the other day.  Five more to go.  When I heard this news a great weight lifted.  I knew that I would not be building anymore very soon.  What for me has been a two year project is a few weeks from completion.  Seeing the relief on the faces of my friends is wonderful.  I have also had the pleasure of being wrong about several cabins that I didn't think would make it.  I am, in part, a curmudgeonly old man who thought that some cabins would not make it.  I like it when the old man is wrong.  
    There are still some very stressed out people.  And when the stress is high we act just like everybody else.  There are freak outs, arguments, and rude behavior for sure.  There's a small crew still struggling to finish Geshe Michael's little straw bale.  If you're a builder with skills and can get here, say, tomorrow, do it.  
   My friends that are going into retreat are starting to say goodbye.  They are giving away their stuff.  I think it is getting very intense for them.  Now that their cabins are done, the three years is sitting large right next to them.  My man Earl has his parents here and they are helping him move things into his cabin.  His mom brought a bunch of home made preserved fruits in jars.  I think that a jar of my mothers preserves would sit on my alter for the whole retreat if I wasn't going to see her for three years.  It would be beyond precious.  A beacon from the person who loves you the most in this world.  It would remind me of what I want to become in retreat; a person who loves all people like a mother loves her child.  Why else would you do that to your Mom?  Leave her for three years for a silent retreat.  The strength of each retreater's intention is inspiring to me.  As is their belief in the practice.  It is a testament to the perfect transmission of the teachings of The Buddha.  A testament also to the Tibetans who kept the tradition alive and then gave it to the West.  My teacher's teacher almost did not make it out of Tibet.  It is the same story for many of the great Buddhist Lama's from Tibet.  DMU would not be here if one monk didn't make it out of Tibet.  He could have slipped on an icy rock in the Himalaya's while he was fleeing.  A bullet could have found him.  He could have dropped his blanket and froze to death over night.  It's a miracle he made it and then continued to live as a monk and teach Americans.  We could build three retreat valleys and it would still not equal the effort that Khen Rinpoche  made to bring the dharma to U.S.  Thank you, Rinpoche.  


Blogger tennisjazz said...

ah, this blog should be retitled the Soul of Matt Gallup. when i think of earle i think too of matt and elisha and the whole support team.

March 29, 2011 7:20 PM  

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