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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, February 06, 2011

care-taking

     I'm sitting in the Willcox Safeway bemoaning the early closing time of the Star Bucks. I came into town to get water.  We had a hard freeze and when the thaw came I had two broken water pipes.  One I was able to replace myself, the other I cannot.  Nor can I really afford a plumber.  But as I've found out over the years, a large part of life is paying for things you cannot afford.  Last week the fridge broke.  The hot water has been out  a while now as I cannot get the pilot to re-light.  I still have heat so I count myself fortunate.  I have decided, however, that so far, care taking the three year retreat sucks.  It is lonely, cold, impoverished service.  It is not this way for everyone, of course.  I'm simply trying to do too much with too little.  
    On Saturday I went to Tucson to play music during Mira Shani's last Tucson yoga class.  She and Jarret are following a dream.  They know not where it will take them but they have decided to start with Hawaii.  Not bad.  There was a lot of love in that yoga class.  Very strong.  Johneo was on sitar and guitar, Jarret on guitar, me on guitar and percussion.  All of us singing, riding the flow of prana in the room.  It was a two hour class.  Mira is very well loved by her students.  She and Jarret feel it is their time to go.  To move.  Mira said a few words about their decision and about dreams.  Dreams and the courage to listen to them.  Jarret also spoke on that.  It was not a 'dharma' talk but the effect was the same for me.  It was a treat for me to hear Jarret speak in that role.  He is genuine and powerful in a humble and loving way.         The message for me, that I got from their talk and example was this: get on your meditation mat everyday.  This is all my teachers want, have ever wanted.  I will do it.  
    I have a constant inner fight going on.  I want to expand into the world like many of my friends.  The ones who are not expanding inward into retreat.  I see why the Lama's have said that the merit for the caretaker of a big retreat can be greater then that of the retreater.  It is very hard service.  As a care taker I feel I am in a sort of border land between two desirable places.  On one side is retreat.  A place where tremendous inner gains can be made.  On the other side is the larger world.  Again, a place where gains of a different and even complementary type can be made.  To be a care taker here, it seems, is to sit in neither world yet try to navigate both.  All the while in a state of voluntary poverty.   It is maddening.  
    The food fund for the retreatants is running low.  After Mira's big class in Tucson we had an auction.  I had the good fortune to be the auctioneer.  I love that job.  We managed to raise around 800$.  We are, however going to need bigger donations.  What we really need is a major sugar daddy.  Corporate sponsorship or something.  I think it is even harder on the care takers living on the land.  More responsibility and stress.  They are handling it well, I think.  I'm the one complaining.  Processing.  I'm processing.  I will end on an higher note.  I love fixing up Jamyang house.  The interior is slowly shaping up.  I will start on the last room that needs cleaning out at the end of the week.  By then the broken water pipes should be fixed and warming weather and dispositions should prevail.

2 Comments:

Blogger Michael A. Biuso said...

Hey Matt,
Stumbled upon this blog somehow. It was an honor meeting you last week and hearing you play at M&J's farewell. Stay strong in your care-taking. I admire what you're doing, and don't forget to take care of yourself as well.
All the best,
Mike

February 08, 2011 8:13 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

20 breaks at Shafer ranch just below DM.It was 4 degrees at the Fort but the 30 mph winds may have been the final nail in the frozen coffin.50,000 gallons spilled from the Klump tank next to our house

I have a small frig you can borrow for a while... jerry@corvid.us

February 16, 2011 3:00 PM  

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