Saturday, February 3, 2007

A Social Evening

What a wonderful evening, yesterday! Ellie and I hosted a pot-luck reunion of those of our sangha who attended Than Geoff's meditation retreat in Santa Fe. The idea was to share the changes and perceptions that we came away with, and for the first hour or so we did just that, gathered around a cheerful fire in the living room of our little Laguna Beach cottage. Amazing, both the differences and the samenesses in our experiences, great evidence of the richness of Than Geoff's teaching, and of the commitment that each one of us brought to furthering our practice.

Readers of these pages will already know of the radical changes I have made in my own life as a result of that weekend. The curious thing is that I was truly not aware, in any analytical, intellectual way, that they were happening. I simply awoke on Monday morning with the decision made and plans laid ready for its implementation. No agonizing. No doubts, no self-questioning. I just got ahead and did what needed to be done. One surprise: I had presumptuously assumed that my young friend and associate, who had begun to post on The Bush Diaires under the screen name Cardozo, would jump at the opportunity to take it over. But even when he declined, I had no hesitation whatsoever, no second thoughts. Unless you count the subconscious ones: in one of those no-accident accidents, I first posted yesterday's entry, "The Weather", on The Bush Diaries. The fact that it seemed to fit equally well on both sites suggests that there is a continuity between the two--a thought that I find peculiarly satisfying.

Back to last evening: it was a heart-warming experience, after sitting and talking for a good long while, to move to the dining room and "break bread" together. Ellie and I rejoice in our good fortune to have found community in this sangha. Since we spend the better part of our time as a sitting group in silence, or in discussing the meaning of the dharma in our lives, it was a treat to have the opportunity of a social situation to get to know each other in a different way. We are all of such different ages, from such different origins, and engaged in such different walks of life; the fact that we have all found the same path in the life of the spirit seems like a special and quite delightful miracle.

Tomorrow morning, a number of us meet for a long, silent walking meditation in the wilderness. The adventure continues!

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