One of the Retreatants from Afar wrote us about an unexpected result of her Dharma practice. Mary Grace teaches school and is a wife, mother, and grandmother in addition to being a Dharma practitioner.
I want to thank all of you at the Abbey for this beautiful and generous opportunity to participate in the retreat from afar. Thank you for the readings via Dropbox, the blog and the videos. I can read and watch them when not working. Today was a snow day, so school was cancelled and I made it a practice day.
As I participate in the retreat, I am finding my heart more open to helping other people. My “spare” time is happily spent with helping my elder neighbor Del, feeding him, trimming his nails, and so forth, as well as helping an elderly couple living down the street. I have been in ER rooms and doctors’ offices with them, done shopping for them, and then when I arrive home; I actually hear my inner voice say, “Now I have the opportunity to be of service to my family!”
What is extraordinary is that the fatigue I once felt is no longer present. I am energized. Of course, I am aware that this can change, but I can’t help but think that by practicing the Six-Session Guru Yoga, holding precepts, and living in ethical conduct, a small change is happening. Yes, I still feel the need to take a walk alone, and I keep my practice commitments when the household sleeps, but the need to ‘get away’ or even lament the fact that I don’t have much time to study or read at home is not an issue like it once was.
I’m not sure what I expected years ago when I began to practice. It wasn’t this, I can assure you. It’s not about bliss, about feeling one with the universe, or even about feeling ‘clear’ or awake’. For me, practice is about giving without thinking twice, giving of myself joyfully.
And, I have all of you to thank. Without your efforts and Venerable’s teaching this one little mindstream would be “up a creek” so to speak.
One moment at a time. And before you know it, we will all be free.
Much love to all,