Posted in Tibetan Buddhism

Deer Park Retreat 2004, Epilogue

10/15/08 Long Beach, CA
8:51 PM

I never ended up writing about my last day on retreat, and it’s far too late to do so now. But I will wrap up a few loose ends.

Stephanie and I did keep in touch. I went to visit her in West Virginia in July 2005. I went hiking on her 75 acres, pet her three dogs, and went motorcycle riding with her husband. She continues to be a wonderful friend to me.

I returned to Deer Park for a weekend retreat in July 2007. The “smiling monk” was there, asking, “Why do I recognize you?” He was just as friendly. Thay was not there, and only a handful of monastics were in residence. The lay population was under 10, so I got to know the life of the monastics much better. It was a completely different experience, but it was equally rewarding.

It was four and a half years before I would undertake another weeklong retreat. Before I left, I reread my journal. I realized just how judgmental I had been. Armed with this information about myself, I was able to keep a more open and clear mind during my 2008 experience at Sprit Rock.

My next retreat will (hopefully!) be at Tara Mandala, June-July 2009. Stay tuned… 🙂


Ven. Dr. Myodo Jabo (Sandy Gougis) is a Zen Master and Priest in the Five Mountain Zen Order. She began studying Theravâdin Buddhism in 1998, adding Zen in 2003, and Vajrayana Buddhism in 2008. She currently practices in both the Zen and Tibetan traditions. Her Zen teacher is Most Ven. Wonji Dharma of the Five Mountain Zen Order, and her Tibetan guru is Lama Tsultrim Allione of Tara Mandala. In her free time, Myodo enjoys painting, jewelry making, and other creative endeavors.

3 thoughts on “Deer Park Retreat 2004, Epilogue

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I am interested in attending one of these retreats and your journal was very helpful in getting an idea of what it might be like.


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