Category Archives: Year One 2008

One Year

December 2008 This is the final month of our first year of three-year retreat. On January 5, 2009, year two begins. Lama Norlha Rinpoche used to say that during the first year of retreat, everyone always thinks they made a … Continue reading

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28 Years

November 2008 I took refuge with Lama Norlha Rinpoche on October 29, 1980. I had met him just a few days earlier, when I attended a meditation session at his center in New York City with my friend Carolyn. I … Continue reading

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Walnuts of Mindfulness

Three-year retreat, year one, month 12 Our mindfulness of impermanence at Nigu Ling is heightened at this time of year by two venerable black walnut trees overlooking our tiny fenced yard. From midsummer through early fall, there is a continual … Continue reading

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September 2008, 4:00 a.m.

Ha, ha, it’s not really 4:00 a.m. as I write this. I just wanted to echo the title of the first post I wrote, a year ago this month. Normally at 4:00 a.m., we are starting our first meditation session … Continue reading

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Same Old Raccoon

August 2008 Lama Norlha Rinpoche, when he teaches meditation, sometimes illustrates his instructions with a classic example: If we become accustomed to sitting in meditation with a spaced-out, blank mind, it is said that we are sowing seeds for rebirth … Continue reading

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Raccoon Story

August 2008 For the past few weeks, we’ve been entertained almost every day by a family of raccoons: a mother and five cubs. The cubs are SO cute! They climb the chicken wire enclosure where the guinea hens used to … Continue reading

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Down the Rabbit Hole

July 2008 Just a few days into three-year retreat, almost seven months ago, I was helping a fellow retreatant polish some shrine bowls. It was during the lunch break, the only time talking is allowed, and we discovered that we … Continue reading

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Equal Taste

June 2008 Three-year retreat is the best possible place to be; and most of the time it feels like the best possible work to be doing, and I am very mindful of how lucky I am to have this rare … Continue reading

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The Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa

May 2008 In its thirty years of existence, KTC Monastery has hosted many great Lamas, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche (under whose guidance KTC was founded), Chamgon Tai Situ … Continue reading

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Efficiency Expert

February 2008 As Buddhists, we are encouraged to spend a lot of time contemplating the impermanence of all phenomena and, in particular, the inevitability of our own death. We realize that if we are going to reach enlightenment, we had … Continue reading

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