Before coming to the center I had no idea Shambala even existed, but now I feel like I am almost part of the community. I participated in morning practice, a 1.5 hr practice of chanting, sitting meditation, and a little walking meditation. At first i didn't do the chants and would only sit for 30min but by the end i was doing the chants (and was disappointed when i missed them) and sat for the whole thing! I actually really loved it too. I hope I can keep up some sort of daily practice in my life as I venture out into the none DDL (not DNL, sorry for the typo in my last post) world. While at DDL I found this place of peace, love, and playfulness in me, which I know has always been there, but was burried benieth so much stress, anxiety, and other rubble before that it was hard to find. I intent to continue to let this amazing place shine!
At DDL I had the amazing oppurtunity of meeting some really great people. And it was great to realize that no ones perfect, not even buddhists, and everyone at meditation centers arnt always happy, so its ok in the real world to not always be happy too. I know this seems obvious, but I think we often think that we need to be happy all the time and when we arnt we get down on our selfs (at least I used to and still do sometimes) which just makes things worse. Its so important to just accept ourselves as who we are, and rather then hate on ourselves, try to understand where these feelings come from, what reactions do they motivate, and how can these reactions be changed. Finding that place inside ourselves that holds compassion and love for ourselves and others is so important. Once I find this place its funny how things that could make me angry, could and do also make me laugh.
This past week was family camp at DDL! It was really great to have all the kids and energy around to add life and excitment to the retreat center. I went to two workshops, one on japanese flower aranging (since a lot of the asthetic traditions from shambala are adopted from Japanese trends) and needle point felting (super cool, I bought a needle from Angela)! I also lead a workshop in found objects jewelry making! The kids were great and I am totally going to miss them. They actually made me think that perhaps I want to work kids into my career path, since I really enjoyed working with them, and others commented on it as well!
All and all I am seriously missing DDL. I have been in withdrawl all day. I miss hanging out and cooking for others in the kitchen, i miss running through the forests and country side, I miss starring up at the stars, I miss the deep conversations. I miss so much, especially the people. I learned so much from DDL, something about the culture of shambala just clicks with me.
By the way, sorry about the lack of photos in this post, and perhaps the next one, I lost my camera at DDL, although its been found, so hopefully you wont be too long without visuals!