Looking back at all of this is over whelming. It was like being in therapy for four years and the therapy worked. Except it was free and I didn't know I was in therapy because I was working too hard and having too much fun. Which is the only way I would have ever gone to therapy.
I was taking my laundry over to my man, Johneo's, house to hang on his line. My line is too shaded. I looked toward Diamond Mountain in the distance. I thought to myself "I had to come here to become ok with myself. I'm the same person I was four years ago but now I'm at peace with myself." I am, in some ways, through some lenses, a "worse" person then I was four years ago. I was sober and vegetarian for seven years. Not anymore. I have vows against intoxication and harming life. I willfully and conflictedly break them on a regular basis. I'm alright with it. I'll take the hit. It's what I need to do now and it will no doubt change. That's who I am. I would rather live in a world where I'm so naturally high that I don't need a drug to do it for me. I would love to go to the super market and just not have the option of buying organic, free range bison ground beef. I should even know better. I know how animals are treated in factory farms. I know what it's about. I've ripped the heads off freshly killed chickens, plucked them, sliced them open and cleaned them. I helped raise a bunch of steer from babyhood only to round him up later, watch him tremble with fear as he smelled the other steer we had butchered behind the barn, blow his brains out, cut off his head, and help tug his innards out onto the frozen ground. And then I ate him. It felt wrong and it felt right. If I was smart I'd distance myself from that culture as much as I could. The karmic blow back from that sort of thing is going to be hard. But I'm not smart. I'm not a raw food eating, vegan, leather avoiding, non alcohol drinking yogi. Nope. I am what I am and how can I help you. I also know that this could change at any moment and will. Everyone and everything is constantly changeing. We'll keep on changing until we die. My favorite mantra is "I'm wrong."
Whenever I write in this blog I want to tell you details of the care taker experience. I stop myself because none of it is important and most of it is just gossip. The care takers are a bunch of normal people doing the same thing with different motivations. We mostly get a long and work well together. Sometimes we act like fools and let each other down with how we treat one another. It's like a slightly disfunctional relationship. The point is to grow together. I don't know if everyone up there thinks of it that way. It doesn't really matter. As long as I think of it that way then that is my work. That's the best and only thing I can do.
I have to wrap it up. I've got a lot more to say and I'll save it for later posts. If you are out there and are supporting this retreat, thank you. Serving it has already changed my life and I can only imagine what it is doing for people inside the retreat. It's an insane, audatious, holy undertaking. Two more years to go. come out and get a piece of it before it's over. It will never happen this way again. I'm pretty sure the larger American buddhist community will not even take notice. You're not going to read about it in Madala, Tricycle, or Shambala magazine. Course, we don't really read their stuff so I guess I know where that comes from.