At the end of the Vajrasattva retreat in 2012, several of the participants did a “group motivation” one morning to thank the nuns who had given instructions on the Vajrasattva practice. Here is what they shared:
In The Little Prince, the Little Prince mentions that there are things that you cannot see with the eyes, but that have to be seen with the heart. Words are not so real compared to experience. My heart’s experience is hard to put in words. I have an enormous gratitude for what you have given to each one of us. Thank you for your love. I consider Sravasti Abbey my spiritual home.
In this precise moment, I only wish that when I become a brave woman, I can be brave and wise like you.
And I hope that in a future life, I can take birth as a woman, so when I look at the history books and learn how the Dharma came to flourish in the West, I’ll be inspired by the courageous women of Sravasti to devote my life to the Dharma as well.
Today, this moment, I make a determination to cultivate the causes for the Dharma to blossom in my own and all others’ hearts by following the instructions of my teacher and looking to the Sangha of Sravasti Abbey for an example and inspiration.
And in following your example, may I learn to open my heart and mind and inspire others to practice the Dharma as you have inspired and taught me with your joy and enthusiasm.
I take refuge in the Sangha. What does this mean for me? You are my guides, my helpers to free me from all defilements. I am not only fortunate to have met the Buddhadharma but also a wonderful, harmonious Sangha who puts a lot of energy into practice. Through your teachings about the Vajrasattva practice we received the tools to purify negative karma collected over many eons and purifying this negative karma is, according to Lama Zopa, the best thing to do with our life right now.
When I arrived at the Abbey about a month before the start of the retreat, one resident observed that I brought a lot of things packed into the car. From my side, I was quite flustered by the observation because I had tried to be so perfect and come perfectly equipped and prepared.
Now I see that my very fully packed car was a symbol of many things I have been carrying on the inside. In the course of the retreat, with your inspiration and support, I have been shedding many things – maybe eons of things – in the realm of the ten non-virtues. I have shed some fear, self-cherishing, self-doubt, covetousness, anger, taking without asking, harsh speech… and it’s only the beginning.
In place of these, I have been learning – both on and off the cushion – these qualities that you all exemplify so beautifully: self-respect; wise, kind, clear and honest speech; inspiring discipline; love in community; the joy of serving; great humility and devotion.
I thank you much more than 111,111 times. The light shines very brightly on the hill at 692 Country Lane in Newport, WA.