Today I was honored to be witness to the graduation of Melinda who had completed her Masters in social work at the University of Nevada, Reno. During the ceremony graduates are, as the program stated, being ‘hooded and pined’. The hoods are placed around the neck and hang elegantly down the back, more tradition than functional. The badge is pinned on the robe by one of the course tutors. All very moving this being the culmination of years of hard work.
Social Work pin and Bodhi Leaf pin!

Melinda left a comment on Intention and Direction In Daily Living back in June 2009. That must have been around the time she was starting in the Masters program.

Well done and congratulations for following through with your intentions, and keeping you direction. May you continue.

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4 thoughts on “Graduation”

  1. Rev. Master Mugo,

    Thank you for expanding my ceremony to those who follow you on the web! I want to comment so that others can celebrate too. As you must realize, your wise perspectives and kindness “bookend” my master’s program. Here at the end it seems like a good place to revisit the beginning.

    Almost two years ago, after I told my elder son that I had been accepted into the program, he wanted to know how I was going to ACTUALLY do it–where would the money come from, could I manage the workload, the move back to my old stomping grounds, was there a lucrative future possible to pay for the federal loans. I told him I didn’t know actually. He was very concerned. We talked about the various ways people set about accomplishing big tasks. “I used to try very hard to plan and manage the future,” I finally admitted to him, “but it didn’t work very well.” I tried to explain what training in Buddhism has lead me to–a more confident, curious, creative, and joyous way of going forward. I copied and emailed him “Intention And Direction In Daily Living,” the article you posted on June 11th, 2009.

    Looking back from this end of the “bookshelf,” two of the lines seem prophetic in hindsight: “. . . the significance of allowing goals, large or small, to give way to flight. Light, strong, vibrant, unfettered and informed by clear intention” and “Less driven by goals, more likely to…fill in the blank. Goals are not bad, they just need to slip into the back seat, so to speak.” Allowing, trusting, delighting in the “blank” rather than resisting, fearing, grumbling about the “blank”–flight vs. fight has proven to be so much better for me. “Blank” suggests that bare white wall before us as we sit. The “blank slate” of the now. And now I am a brand new Master of Social Work — testimony to a future so open, so very open.

    Thank you for being there for me then and now, not to mention ironing my robe and hood! In gassho,

  2. I still find the coincidence of my being there at the start and at the end of your adventure mind blowing! Bookending your Masters program, a great expression. A pleasure to iron your robe and hood too. Pleasure to meet you.

  3. Ha! My experience is that nobody irons robes better than a Master…

    And as for graduation – firstly congratulations to Melinda and very best wishes for ‘going on beyond.’ Secondly, my experience of graduation ceremonies and the day of celebration is that they are unique in being occasions of pure joy. Other ceremonies carry a hint of a question: weddings? naming days? birthdays? All carry the wondering as to how it will all turn out. But in my experience with my daughters, graduation is a celebration of achievement and pure delight, with no ‘yes but’. It sounds as if you had a great time Melinda. And how very lovely to see the bodhi brooch alongside that other badge you worked so hard to achieve!

  4. I once ironed a wedding dress here at Shasta Abbey. The bride was grateful. The dress, when fluffed out more or less filled the room I was in.

    Thanks also for the thoughts on graduation. Full of potential, great potential, that’s how the auditorium felt during the graduation ceremony. All the robed ones were directly in front of where I was sitting. The anticipation and excitement was coming off them in waves.

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