Time for Celebrations

Next week a loyal reader of this blog is going to receive the Precepts at the Ten Precepts Retreat at Throssel. The retreat will start on Saturday. We have been in correspondence talking back and forth as she works through the inevitable

Shall I, or shall I not, cancel? Will I, or will I not, be able to go through with the commitment to formally become a Buddhist?

Her story is much the same as my friend and her steps towards surgery. I find them both inspiring in their willingness to lay themselves bare, to examine what’s there and keep going on into the unknown. Congratulations to them both!

By way of offering encouragement I wrote the following:

You do realize that the first ceremony of the retreat is the journey to the monastery and you are well on the way to completing the most testing ceremony of all.

Her reply:

I hadn’t thought of the journey to Throssel being the first “ceremony”, but now you have said it, it makes perfect sense. It’s funny how this practice gets to one, even though it is so subtle and you aren’t aware of it happening at the time. I have already told you of some of the things that have changed for me like the drinking, smoking, watching less TV and being more discriminatory about what I do watch – but the wonderful thing is that they have all happened without any conscious effort. (Because she wants to follow the Precepts, and is.)

Today is the anniversary of a significant step I took some years ago, which involves rededicating ones life to keeping the Precepts. After the coffee and desert pictured here I walked for a few hours to reach home base. Close to where I’m staying is an old woodland. The guidebook describes it as one of the Island’s most delectable spots. I reclined there for awhile against a tree and gazed up at the clear blue sky listening to the spring birds tweeting. Yes, time for celebrations.

This post is dedicated to yet another friend who is undergoing the ceremony of the journey to the monastery, literally and figuratively. Make that two friends.

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3 thoughts on “Time for Celebrations”

  1. Isn’t that wonderful about all the coming and going and journeying and finding our way and getting a bit lost only to find our way again. It is actually very beautiful when we remember to be aware of what is there as we walk. That is why I so much enjoy taking the train to the temple here…I have to change the train four times and then when the weather is good I walk about 5 km to the temple…it makes it feel a bit more like a pilgrimage each time. There and back…or old style English hither and thither. Take care…next week is a 5 day sesshin for many of us here in Germany. Another journey by train, a bit further than to the temple, but I’m looking forward to it. Jack

  2. Ah, PAVLOVA! Now that’s something I haven’t tasted in years. Easter must be just around the corner…

    I’m glad I stumbled on your blog today. I look forward to reading more soon.

  3. Dear Heidi, Thankyou! I knew the name of that desert but by gosh I couldn’t work out how to spell it! It must have been named after Anna Pavlova the Russian ballerina.
    It will probably be a goodly number of years before I eat one of those again.

    Jack, Thank you. You are a loyal trekker to the Temple and now on sesshin for a week. It’s good to know you are around and that the congregation in Germany are sitting still this week.

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