6 Apr
Posted in: Retreats
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Lessons Learned

not-a-problemGood News: Dharma Town is up and running again. (For those of you who haven’t heard, Dharma Town was hacked by a porn site while I was away on retreat!!!)

So….one lesson I learned is that it’s worth it to buy the SiteLock security package GoDaddy offers.

Another lesson…this one I learned while was I on the retreat and verified once I got home…is that it really DOES NOT MATTER what’s going on around you — you can still be happy, relaxed and at peace — in all kinds of trying circumstances.

For example, it rained for a solid 2 weeks of the 4-week retreat…cold, drenching rain with howling wind….torrential rain…Biblical rain…more rain than I thought was even possible for it to rain! (And the only shoes I brought were sandals.)

Then the heating system broke in the Mediation Hall, so there was no heat when we needed it most. (I brought mostly short sleeve T-shrits and a couple of light, summer-weight sweaters, plus a very light fleece jacket, and — thankfully! — a rain coat. All of which I wore — at the same time — during most of the 4 weeks.)

Then one of the two washing machines in the Spirit Rock laundry room also broke — on the day it was my dorm’s turn to have clothes washed. (I only had one pair of warm socks.)

So conditioners were challenging.

But what was going on with the practice — on the inside — was so delightful, so satisfying, so beautiful (most of the time) — that the discomfort was not really a problem.

And then later, when I got home, I found that the toilet in my house (my only toilet) had broken while I was gone, requiring a replacement, which cost many hundreds of dollars and couldn’t be installed until several days after my return. Even then, the situation was unpleasant and difficult…but really….it was not a problem.

What I mean is….it was not a problem on the inside. It was a situation that had to be fixed. Which required a lot of forbearance and persistence and the very clear setting of boundaries with plumbers (as to what was acceptable and what was not). But I wasn’t stressed out about it. It was a situation that needed to be dealt with…strongly…with urgency. But it was just a situation that needed to be dealt with strongly and urgently. It was really NOT a problem.

Same with the malfunctioning ceiling light/fan in my bedroom. And with my back going out on me. And the laundry and the grocery shopping and the hundreds of emails that needed to be dealt with. Not to mention the porn site!

These were all difficult situations that needed to be dealt with. But they were just that. My mind and my heart were — and still are — at peace.

This is possible.

For all of us.

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