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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.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

We had a good day in the tsam today.  This was the first day after the month long deep retreat.  Nicole and I got a lot done on the water system.  We think that only one tank is not filling.  This is huge.  Next come the repairs inside the cabins themselves.  There are not many of these.  We did some other small repairs for people as well.  Things like mouse proofing some vents. While I was working on some pipes,  one retreater came out of the cabin, face covered by a big hat, and gave me a cookie in that special way a person who is dedicating something does.  I touched it to my head and ate it.  I went "mmmmmm"  I love the touching special things to my head thing.  I do it when I want to see the giver as special, or the thing given as special. Hopefully I'm thinking of both of them that way.  It's not always the case but I touch it to my head anyway.  

    We also got one the heat working in one retreaters cabin.  During the cold spell, when this persons heat went out, we were so overwhelmed with water line emergency that I didn't feel much along the lines of compassion.  A little, but it was dull.  I was dull.  I was cold and grumpy. But today, after getting heat back to this person I am very moved.  I'm so sorry it took so long, I want to say.  Maybe it's like a parent would feel if they couldn't help their child right away.  "I wanted to get it to you sooner, I'm so sorry. I was distracted."  I think that over time, this feeling will grow and become one of the great gifts for the care takers, for those who do not already have it. This encompassing desire to give people what they need.  The care takers keep reminding each other that one of our jobs is to try and protect the minds of the retreaters.  So if they say they need something that sounds strange or un-unnecessary, it's our job not to judge them or think that they don't need it.  They may be going batty and need some seemingly inconsequential thing to calm their mind and carry on with the inner work.  It's not for me to say as a care taker.  My job is to give.  It always come back to that.  To give to others.  Make sure you have your basic needs covered, of course, but give the rest to others.  Joy must be present in that, makes it more powerful.  I usually work in the retreat valley in a focused, pursed lipped, Manhattan speed cowboy sort of way.  I feel joy afterward.  I'd like to feel it while I'm serving.  It happens sometimes.    

  We have had some amazing skies out here lately.  During the cold snap, the clouds came down and covered Mt. Grahm's peak in grey blue.  This stretched all across the horizon.  There were clouds yesterday that looked like a melted puddle of marsh mellow that someone dragged a comb through.  When viewed with sun glasses you could see rainbows in the clouds. When I am down, when the food stamps get decreased, and the health insurance revoked, the house cold and cat complaining, I don't care about the sky.  But it is putting on such a mind blowing show that I recall it a week later when I'm not so bummed out thinking about "me".  I'm usually my favorite thing to think about.


Blogger Special K said...

Matt! I just found your blog. I like it.


March 03, 2011 5:51 PM  
Blogger pz said...

Thank you Matt, and other folks, for all of your incredibly hard work and sacrifice in support of the great retreat. As I sit here I know it's easy for me to say that I wish I were there hands-on helping and you will laugh and think "Sure you do." But I'm one of the lost lambs of DMU having been a student since the beginning and having never once set foot there. Someday...someday. But stay strong and know that what you do is wonderful!

March 04, 2011 8:56 AM  

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