This picture was taken while on an outing yesterday. During the day-in day-out life of the monastery one rarely pauses to reflect on the beautiful mountain scenery close by. I guess that’s because we are in the scenery!
To-day I had the rare opportunity to walk the Alms Round with several other monks from the Shasta Abbey Community.
“For 2500 years, since the time of the Buddha, Buddhist monks have walked the Alms Round. This practice is said to create a field of merit for all sentient beings, an opportunity to show the finer qualities of the heart.”
Shasta Abbey web site.
As I walked this morning I kept Robert Barrington Leigh in mind. He was a high school friend of one of the congregation members in Edmonton. He was found dead in the North Saskatchewan River a few days ago.
May the field of merit embrace Robert and all who know and love him.
There is nothing like making a statement of intent to do something. By 6.00 or so this evening I’d just about moved out of the old laptop and onto the new one.
The knowledgeable novice monk in Berkeley told me about the three R’s for network managing.
1. Right click. A much under used facility which I’ve used a lot to-day.
2. Re Boot. Often seems to be a solution for so many difficulties.
3. Relax! Sometimes all the computer, or network, needs is time to sort itself out. Latter it will work. Probably.
We have a line in one of our scriptures which goes: “Do not travel to other dusty countries thus forsaking your own seat”. When I first started to contemplate a monastic vocation I innocently thought that meant I should not go to California to be a monk! (It is dusty in California after all!) I quickly learnt what this teaching was pointing towards and continually aspire to follow it.
There are many transitions and ‘journeys’ that one makes in life. The important thing is not to forsake ones ‘sitting place’ what every one is doing and where every one is. Hah! That’s the message of ‘Moving Mountains’ isn’t it?
I have been dipping into an interesting book. Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin. You may already be familiar with it. The sub title of the book is and other reports from my life with autism. At one point in the book Temple writes of her difficulty with conceptualizing making transitions in her life. She devised a way to understand transitions via actually walking through a specific door where she was living. In this way she practiced making the upcoming transition. Latter, I think, she simply pictured the doorway and was able to then proceed with what it was she was going to do, in practice.
The above link is to an audio file titled Doorways, it lasts just under 15mins. Sometimes you need to press the play button a couple of times and then be patient.
At the moment I’m fully occupied with transferring everything from one laptop to another. So that, in part, is why I haven’t been writing much these past few days. By the end of to-day, if all goes without a hitch, I should have made the transition.
National Public Radio (USA) has been broadcasting a series of programs called “Hacking the Himalayas”: about a project to bring a mesh based wireless network to Dharamshala, India.
Onwards to Shasta Abbey tomorrow.