The wake up conch sounded much like what I imagine a dying water buffalo would sound like. Only worse.
After discussing it with Lama Tsultrim, I took refuge with her. She gave me the refuge name Rangrig Wangmo, which is Tibetan for “Powerful Woman of Innate Awareness.” And she symbolically cut off a lock of my hair! A lot of us took refuge on the final day of the retreat. All of our hair was to be buried in the earth at Prayer Flag Ridge. It was a far more emotional ceremony, and more free-flowing, than when I took my Zen precepts.
The kitchen made doggy bags for all of us on the 1:00 shuttle! We were driving up to the community building and saw one of the staff, Jessica, standing by the side of the road holding out sack lunches! So we all got lunch before traveling on.
The grain, quinoa, is indeed high in protein and has become a staple of my diet.
Paula and I meet by phone weekly to feed our demons together. Her support has been essential to my on-going practice.
I was accepted to graduate school for Buddhist Studies by the University of Sunderland in the UK. The program is conducted via distance learning. Hopefully, I will end up with a Master’s Degree. It’s not the same program I was considering during the retreat, but one I only found out about the day after my return. Classes start September 23rd.
I’m going to Kripalu in Massachusetts to learn Chod from Lama Tsultrim this November. I already have my place reserved and my airline tickets purchased!