Trekking the Deck by Nancy Schmit

Monday, 28 December 2015
The next time you come to Vajrapani Institute, look for nine 20 to 30 yard long grooves in the roads, the yards and paths surrounding the gompa, and the decks of the stupa and gompa. Know that these were carved by the nine intrepid meditators who attended Venable Losang Gendun's June 2015 meditation retreat, Vipassana in the Mahayana Tradition.
I arrived at Vajrapani in the late afternoon. Vajrapani is a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center in Boulder Creek, California, about 45 minutes away from where I live in the San Lorenzo Valley. All day had been spent getting my affairs in order to be gone for retreat.
I slip on a gift from my partner Jim... a green reflective vest with the little flashlight in its pocket. We live near a state park and rush hour traffic on the road I walk along to reach it each evening is fierce. He wants the cards stacked in my favor.
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." I love this quote by Oscar Wilde. Lately it's been coming to mind as I transition away from the familiar into the unknown. It's at these times the worrying mind can persist, but I see more and more that worry wastes so much vital energy. Life is simply too precious to waste on being caught up in limiting beliefs and…
We asked mother and daughter, Cindie and Denali, some questions about their life and experience at Vajrapani Institute. This is what they had to say about the qualities that lead them to rejoice and the lessons they have learned here. What do you most celebrate about your mother? Denali: I am blessed to be my mother's daughter. She has spoiled me my entire life by giving me her time,…
We asked Kamala, 16, some questions about her life and her experience at Vajrapani Institute. Kamala has been attending Family Camp annually since she was 5 years old. This is what she had to say about the qualities that lead her to rejoice and the lessons she has learned here. What is it you most celebrate about yourself? I chose empathy because I believe that I have a good…
We asked Aden, 14 years old, one of our long time retreaters who has been coming to Family Camp since he was 5, some questions about his life and his experience at Vajrapani Institute. This is what he had to say about the qualities that lead him to rejoice and the lessons he has learned here. What is it you most celebrate about yourself? The reason I chose humbleness,…
We asked one of our long time retreaters, Judith, some questions about her life and her experience at Vajrapani Institute. This is what she had to say about the qualities that lead her to rejoice and the lessons she has learned here. What is it you most celebrate about yourself? I like to believe that I am flexible. It feels like it anyway! I always seem to be giving…
We asked our former Kitchen Manager, Nina, some questions about her life and her experience at Vajrapani Institute. This is what she had to say about the qualities that lead her to rejoice and the lessons she has learned here.  What is it you most celebrate about yourself? Why that? How does it impact those around you? Distilled into a single word: Reflective I celebrate the richness of my…


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