Have been reading a lot lately in Dharma Art by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the man who started Shambhala International (www.shambhala.org) in North America. He says, again and again, that there is no way to teach people contemplative arts. Just to provide ground on which the arts can grow, disappear, and come again. I have known throughout this whole process that I am not really "teaching" - I call it "facilitating" but its not even that. More like holding the space.
I went on a 24 hour retreat this last weekend, and was stunned, especially in the face of some pretty traumatic conversations recently with one of my brothers, to witness myself being so clear. Clear after a ton of sitting in which I thought I was being the farthest thing from clear, in my mind. Clear about what others were saying, what I was saying, about the nature of saying anything. I have now committed to move forward on a Shambhala Warrior Training course - five levels, five weekends over a few months, as to dedicate myself to this path. Also, in a couple of weeks I go out to the San Francisco area to convene with LiP members and to get trained in contemplative photography teaching (www.miksang.org for teacher's website). It is clear I am making choices in a specific direction. No pressure. I will keep going forward. It feels good to be on a path, very natural. Finally. Scary but clear.
In the end, I want a teacher. I thought I wanted to go back to grad school, but now I am pretty sure My Goal is to become an indy instructor, and find time in that schedule (much easier than the retail one) to study with a) Natalie Goldberg and b) a Shambhala "teacher" - my OWN teacher, too. I am not sure yet whom. I crave having the guidance of a "teacher". The intimacy. Yet outside of a "school-like" situation.
So moving forward. Clear. Lots of crying lately. Lots of laughter. Lots of rain.
I love fall. I really do. Reminds me that despite being a homebody, I really do love change. I am terrified by it, but I have a serious affection for it. Almost a clinging to it. Hang on!