Thursday, March 27, 2008

Arrival in Mumbai

Once again on this holy land called India. Had a long but good journey. The plane from Singapore-Mumbai was nearly empty, so that was extremely nice! Even meditation was possible.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Inspiring letters......

Hello all, I just received a really inspiring letter from one of the participants who attended the Medicine Buddha last year in Kopan. I asked for her permission to print it, with or without her name and she totally gave her permission for it to be printed as is, with all the details, so here we are:

Dear Venerable Namgyel,

It has been a while since we've connected, but I felt the good news I received should be passed along to those who offered support during a difficult time in my life.

As you may know, I became interested in attending the Kopan Medicine Buddha Retreat long before I encountered any personal health concerns. I have a deep interest in alternative healing and felt the experience would be a good way to refresh before the following school year. At the time, I had no conscious knowledge that my own health would be requiring some attention in the near future. That spring, I experienced what can best be called a life-changing turn of events, that left my health in serious question. I returned to the states where western doctors completed test after interview, after test....the file of information was daunting. The empathy in their responses was less than encouraging: You may want to consider moving back to the states; You may want to stop driving; You have some time now, to begin developing a long term plan; For now, we have to wait to see how fast this progresses. None of this was a comforting thought. I was unable to return to work, and with the extended time this afforded me, I took the opportunity to travel and do some spiritual work.

Fortunately, Kopan and the retreat were already in my plans. I was further blessed by the company of my friend Kelly, an exceptional group of people on the retreat, and an inspiring teacher who was patient and thoughtful in helping me through this journey. ( didn't hurt that he was also good for a laugh once in a while too~)

The energy, compassion and love displayed during the time I was at Kopan certainly worked its magic. I have been symptom free for some time, and I just received word from my neurologist who specializes in MS, that all my tests are normal! He further went on to say that unless the symptoms re-emerge, then there is no need for further follow up. (side note: of course the clinging-side of me was like-huh? What about my previous test results & symptoms, etc?....his answer was that perhaps I had migraines without the headache(?), stress(?). He was unable to explain the rest, but I had my ideas...) He was clear- almost a year later, (7 months after the retreat), I have been given a clean bill of health!

I have no doubt that the wisdom you shared, the strength of the Sangha, and the boundless power of faith and the Buddha brought me to this place today. Thank you, Venerable Namgyel. Your work has certainly helped bring health and peace in my life.

With a heart filled with gratitude and compassion,

Monday, March 10, 2008

Beautiful Hobart

  Hello everybody - just a quick note to let you know that I am very busy teaching in Hobart and tomorrow we go to Cygnet for the one week Medicine Buddha retreat, which is booked out. Here's a photo taken from the balcony of Lindy's house outside of Hobart - very beautiful isn't it? Sonam is feeling much better and his toe is actually healing. It will take quite a long time (at least a few months more) but he is mending. Thanks everybody for your kind help and your open hearts.
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Monday, March 3, 2008

Arrival in Tasmania

The weekend turned out to be very busy with a nearly six hour drive to Maree's house on Friday, resting that evening then teaching in the afternoon to a few people who turned up in the torrential rain (it had been very dry and nearly drought conditions until I arrived). Then driving on to Loren's house, Homeleigh, which is such a beautiful property with the most beautiful views you could imagine. However, again, it was raining so the views were not apparent when I arrived! I taught Sunday afternoon to a really interested group of twenty something people and then on to Auckland which was over three hours drive. In the evening again we had twenty something people at Dorje Chang Institute and we discussed meditation and how it makes us happy. Some interesting questions and some sad goodbyes, particularly to Cherry and David, an amazingly kind couple who took me under their wing, fed me, nourished me and cared for me whenever they could. Others dropped by before and after the teaching to say au revoir, again an amazing woman called ~Annie who is just a Bodhisattva on wheels (she is really busy with charities and Dharma centres and is totally inspiring in her work for sentient beings). Bed just before 11pm.

It was a long day on Monday,starting at 4am with a quick cup of tea (essential before any journey or any decision, ha ha) and driving to the airport with Maree, check in, then wandering around the airport for hours before departure, change planes in Melbourne then on to Hobart, I am happy to say I have arrived. This is definitely a beautiful place to be from the aspect of views.....from the house we look down towards the water and the house is surrounded by gum trees. There is a cute little Chihuahua and a Siamese cat in residence, plus a greyhound that Lindy rescued.

Somehow I talked the leg off Lindy yesterday (must have been really tired, because as you know that is not usual for me) and then a really good sleep has left me feeling refreshed.

The temperature dropped after I arrived and just as we got to the house where Lindy and her family live, it started raining. The predicted temperature is 17C for today and a bit warmer tomorrow.

I managed to speak to Hannah on her way to the Goa airport yesterday and she said Sonam is very happy and feeling so much better. He was virtually pain free yesterday. So short term that is a very good sign. However, the doctors are saying he will probably still lose his toe as it has gangrene, but it does look like he won't lose the rest of his foot. He sees the specialist tomorrow and then more tests and the treatments continue, so I will keep you all informed.

That's it for now and please remember to open up your hearts and put the teachings of our precious Gurus into practice not tomorrow, but RIGHT NOW!