Practicing Patience

“…transform all mishaps into the path of the bodhi” – Atisha (980-1052 CE), excerpt from the practice of Lojong.

As the grasses turn gold and summer begins to manifest on the mountain, we feel a gentle invitation to grow forward. Somehow we’d imagined this season’s growth would take the form of rebuilding our beloved hermitage, but once again it seems nature has a different lesson in store.

We spent the latter part of May bringing in what supplies we could by ATV to prepare for the season ahead all the while anticipating a meeting of the neighborhood about our shared road (Rocky Creek Rd) and it’s much needed repairs. While rumors swirled about the scope of road repairs necessary, we focused on building a temporary tool shed from a kit – light weight enough for the ATV journey and easily moved when necessary when bigger building begins.  The tools that we’d lost in the fire and have been slowly replacing over the winter now have their own cozy, weather-proof home!

shed collage

We met with our 28 neighbors who share Rocky Creek Rd on the morning of May 27th. It was both a sobering and inspiring gathering. Rumors were confirmed that the recent engineer’s assessment for slide repairs (a new retaining wall) on a section of our shared road will cost just about a half million dollars. Given that most people in this neighborhood lost their homes in the fire last summer, this sum will likely require months to raise via application for grant funding and various fundraising events.

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Slide area on Rocky Creek Road.

The determination of this ever-resilient community was palpable as we shared ideas and encouragement for how to work together to preserve our fragile road for yet another year (winter!). A commitment was made by all to minimize traffic in general and keep loads below 5,000lbs. This means that all will have to delay more permanent home re-building for another year. The Rocky Creek Road Association set a fundraising goal of $500,000 by April 30th, 2018 in the hopes that repairs can be completed by the following July.

We’ve been continually contemplating just how best to communicate with you all about what is currently unfolding on the mountain. Each time one of you meets us with such heart-warming enthusiasm about coming to help this summer or brings simple curiosity about what’s happening with re-building, we feel a little tongue-tied of late. We’d love nothing more than to be joined by a huge group of our sangha friends for a real community “barn-raising” this summer. Instead, it seems that nature has another practice in store for us – patience.

The collaborative efforts with our neighbors, a regular visit to our remaining solo retreat cabin Kshanti  – def. patience 🙂 – and Anam Thubten’s voice in our heads saying “it’s more beautiful than ever!” remind us of the illusory nature of the obstacles and the freshness of each moment. With time spent about the land as summer approaches, we’re reminded to honor the little disappointments that come and go while continuing to open to the joy of the unexpected.

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Now golden grasses on the land at sunset.

Love and gratitude,

Kay & Cory

P.S. To help right now in lieu of coming to the land:

We’re looking to fill the following karma yogi roles immediately (email us at caretaker.sweetwater@dharmata.org):

Sangha Outreach – Write and respond to emails and calls; help coordination
Social Media Support – Connect us with social media sites such as Instagram
Wish List Donations – Receive and store items from  our new Wish List!

Your continued financial support lays the ground for re-building. To make an offering click here.

 

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