Warrior Assembly – Dechen Chöling, July 2018

 

Love is most nearly itself when here and now cease to matter.

For a further union, a deeper communion

In my end is my beginning. — T.S. Eliot

I almost didn’t go. A week before my planned departure for France, a massive storm enveloped Shambhala. And it shook my little world. I felt angry and betrayed. I came within two mouse clicks of canceling my trip. The shift came when our local community met that weekend for a Sadhana Feast, and to be together at this difficult time. They showed me how to move closer to the middle way, how not to polarize my practice. They reminded me why I’m on this path — about the intimacy of quiet connection, that despite the uncertainty of a world turned upside down, there is a place for me. Their presence reminded me that living out an aspiration to create an Enlightened Society means never to give up on anything or anyone. Ever. That it is possible to make room for my pain and allow space for its relief, for my longing and that which fulfills the desire. I am deeply grateful for these insights.

Now I’m on the train from Limoges to Paris. Warrior Assembly 2018 is over and because of the circumstances, it is one event unlikely to ever be forgotten. I’m checking out feeling more in love with life, and simultaneously more heartbroken than ever before. I am humbled beyond words. And enormously grateful. There were so many vivid moments forever enshrined in my memory. It all still feels like a dream. A vortex. Some highlights include:

Contemplating with Acharya Bots how a six-year-old might understand Primordial Ashe

Feeling Acharya Schneider’s wisdom steady the container of the program

Hearing Agnieszka chant the Proclamation of Goodness in Polish

Listening to David play his guitar and sing in the meadow

Sipping tea on the porch on endless summer days

Exploring how freedom is synonymous with love

Meditating with rain falling on the Lion Tent

Chanting OM HA KSHA MA LA VA RA YAM

Learning how to be still and still moving

Invoking the protectors with a drum

Sleeping under a tree on the earth

Doing stroke practice in the heat

Taking the Dorje Kasung Oath

Embracing the Milky Way

Touching my brokenness

Laughing uncontrollably

Dancing like an animal

Swimming in the river

Smelling the trees

Kissing the sky

Walking slowly

Breathing

Bowing

Being

You

Me

1

I am but a Dharma fledgling learning to fly. Thank you brave and inspiring Warrior Assembly participants for modeling the dignity and grace of soaring. Thank you teachers. Thank you staff. May you all be loved.

Michal

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