I left Colorado mid October. Plan was that Ayya Dhammadhira and I would travel together for a week then I would start a meandering trip on the West Coast that included visiting Mom, and many teaching engagements in Oregon and northern and southern California. The last stop and a deeply cherished one was the Kathina ceremony at the Karuna Buddhist Vihara that Ayya Santussika leads. Ayya Dhammadhira and I were going to meet up there and travel home together the next day. Kathina did happen and with 7 Bhikkhunis present was a very inspiring event. But plans don’t always work out as planned. I’m still in California.
Mom needs more support and it was apparent when I visited her. It isn’t urgent right now but the tides are moving that way and at some point it will be. With my brother and I both based in Colorado, we weren’t mobilizing the support systems that were keeping pace with her needs. Further, I saw a doctor who said that the mold exposure I had in August had cause some health issues. He was optimistic that my systems would be restored after treatments in about two months time.
I decided to stay a few more months.
While on the road, we needed to find a place that was a bike ride from both Mom and the doctor and see about getting all the support to make it workable. In ten days it all came together. The Awakening Truth board was stellar and immediate in their support. I was enormously fortunate to have visited many Bhikkhunis and each had offerings to contribute- spare robes, boots, cushions, rain gear and requisites to stock the pantries. Friends loaned me their bike, lock and helmet. Someone else offered fresh produce to be delivered regularly. Benefactors from out of state offered gift cards at local stores. My dear friend Terry bought bus tickets and supplies. Ayya Tathaaloka and members of the Dhammadharini community were here the first day to help me bless the space after we unpacked the boxes of things that they brought.
Vulnerability and uncertainty arrived uninvited. It opened the gate for the kindness of others to pour in. I sit here in this cabin, on this sacred ground surrounded by support and feel ease as I let go into something that holds and is embracing – the faith that I am in the place I am meant to be and that all manner of things shall be well.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It is the first time in 11 years I get to spend this holiday with Mom.
Closing the loop on the story and the logistics, Ayya Dhammadhira returned as planned to Shakti Vihara Colorado Springs and will be leading the meditations there. You can contact her directly for information about upcoming events or to find out if she has any requisite needs. Dhammadhira at gmail dot com
Though the treatments are not painful, they take a while to recover. I will be available for meeting people here at Shakti Vihara Santa Rosa every other Sunday. This Sunday November 27, I will be here from 1-3 PM and beginning December 13, 4-6PM. The mailing address, directions to the cabin and the visiting times are all on the dana list. http://awakeningtruth.org/donate/danalist
Each of us is like a drop of water in the ocean of humanity. We bring all of ourselves to what we do – our frailty, hungers, longing and aspirations. Through our own experience we open to the experience of others. Touching the tenderness and fullness of my own situation and attuning to the gifts I have from our connections, I pause and reflect on all of the blessings of my life and what we share. From this I take another step and breath with a heart opened, aware and feeling.
Amma Thanasanti Bhikkhuni