Brasil is a land of snakes. The ways of these creatures are unfamiliar to me except that is for the fear they trigger deep in my structure. On another level I am coming to value their big bellied earthly presence. There are times when we all may need to shed a skin. To intentionally put ourselves between a rock and hard place and become thoroughly stuck. It may be brief, it may take decades. It is time to shed a skin.
This is something I have wanted to share for five years or more with you the community of many beings.
I want to bring healing to this dharma because I want to be a part of Wanagpeka community. To be connected to the place, and I want to unacknolwedge the unwholesme that has happened in relation to Bonni sangha and Wanagpeka. I bring it especially as news for the younger folk coming trough into the dharma.
I am writing this to be heard and to be seen, because I tired of hiding this darkside and I think this might bring some healing.
I choose it to be public because maybe there are others who have been wrestled to trust in this world. I am talking about the capacity to trust the murky and sometimes challenging workings of universe awakening itself through each and everyone of us.
I’m moving in the territory of the personal and it can be messy in the ways being fully human sometimes is. But what role model am I for the young people I work with if I do not take responsibility for my actions? If do not openly share the struggles I continue to experience around this topic of trust and being trustworthy.
It is a request to be heard as I acknowledge my short comings, apologise, let go.
We (a group of young people, Juliana and myself) are here in Brasil, sharing, learning, growing in the ways of dharma. It is gutsy, honest, unchartered and deep; offering this question of what does an Immeasurable School of Wisdom and Compassion look, feel, and sound like?
Perhaps it is this question that has brought me to this trembling edge. When I look at it now, it is inevitable. Perhaps it is also being away from New Zealand and the Wangapeka, these things have provided a space to reflect.
I spent three years or so as a ‘Resident Practitioner’ at Wangapeka Retreat Centre. Those who were there know there was more than just some frayed ends. There was hurt, confusion and severance. There are many things not said, fear of judgements, shame, doubt….
My experience is that I did not have the wisdom to know how to bring healing to these experiences. There was no time, no form, not so much in the way of encouragement. In its wake there has been fractures. Perhaps we were all too busy, me too reactionary to even be approached. I don’t know.
I left the Wanagapeka centre, because I left my centre. And I left the study group of friends with Bonni Ross and the community of practitioners. I attempted a cooling off period for three years or so to aspire to gather some sense and orientation. Some wound licking, some pause for honest reflection, a chance to remember something vitally important that has been covered. I am a slow learner because still the dharma of trust is alive in me.
I have come to regret some of my actions. I see now how seeds of mistrust supported defensive actions. Behaviours of envy, competitiveness, fear of not being good enough or of there being enough. Times passes, learning happens, more love, more seeing and still the patterns continue. Good to see, but not all that pretty.
Recently something cracked open. A great (but quiet) grief cry of abandonment manifesting in a lifetimes of questionable movements. I have known this for sometime and I suspect those close in have seen it too. There is no hiding, no dodging the bullet, in fact a surprising willingness to meet this phenomena unfolding.
I have not been able to catch all the times a quality of distrusting has manifested. I have felt overwhelmed in the face of these seeds and propulsions. Inside these unruly seeds, not only atoms born of stars but a wild hunger for love and connection.
Since these troubled times I have tried to build bridges after the events. Call it damage control. I see here is the point where skilful action can help and that is what this is.
As we sat today in our circling Brazilian community, the centre was marked by a peacock feather. I recall being told it eats the toxin and in turn it makes this beautiful offering that makes the world more wonderful. This is what I have and I offer it without attachment.
One of the earliest memory I have of my childhood is being at primary school in middle England, we were drawing bull rushes . and talking biblical things. Last night I dreamt a woman was asking me “what is the mat made of that held that held Jesus in the bull rushes?" This is a weaving, an inter-being dharma made of nothing short of everything. It is both personal, real and at the same time it is completely empty of anything resembling permanence. A weaving of suchness now arising as a want to not hide anymore.
I aspire to celebrate the fruits and flowerings of all beings, especially my dharma brothers, sisters and teachers.
I vow to trust the teacher within, this is marked by a surrendering, a vow to let go of what I think is happening and why.
I aspire to trust dana and build educational opportunities that flow like rivers
I aspire to continue to create spaces where young people are honoured and empowered to be the change this world needs
I aspire to meet this holding back with love and patience, to say yes to all these invisible motions
Feeling the suffering of clinging, the struggle of trying to make permanent that which is impermanent; feeling the anguish, pain, hopes, fears and confusions of uncountable beings weaving these present patterns of dysfunction and defensiveness in my own being; with courage and determination to uplift everyone, letting go of clinging in body, speech and mind, I touch the earth.
From Touching the Earth by Tarchin Hearn.
Thank you for listening, peace to you all
In faith, trust, and wonderment