Saturday, December 27, 2008

December 27, 2008

Nellie sends her love. She has not been able to send email because the little hut where she goes to send her email is being renovated.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 17, 2008 EMAIL RE: RUMI

Good morning, My Dear Friends! This sun is just coming up over the eastern sky and I sit in the shop outside of Jangjubling Monastery playing with little Kavya, Sunil's daughter; he and his father-in-law and brother-in-law, Vivek, run this little post which fills with monks eating parantha and drinking tea! I love coming here where we all belong to the same family ; Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist and some without religion or caste We share this communion with smiles and attemps to communicate with each other. The beautiful Maria from Denmark, a wonderful being who speaks and studies Tibetan here at university in Copenhagen leaves to return home Friday, but to return to Songsten Library in about 6 months. She also studies with different monks here and at my nunnery, Samten Ling. Bon Voyage to a dharma friend.

I remembered this date: DECEMBER 17 is know as RUMI'S WEDDING DAY - the day he died, and this reference is not to make death itself the point of his Enlightenment, but to remember that he who had overcome death in life, had achieved the ultimate awareness - passing through the illusory doors to the Oneness he experienced with his great teacher, Shamz of Tabriz. Today, is a celebration of all paths that teach that there is something beyond all of this and it is here we are all joined. Rumi's relationship with his Teacher was all consuming and contains all the elements of what we, in Buddhism, call Guru Yoga - the necessary surrender to the outer teacher who then guides us to the place where student and teacher merge into the expanse of Truth, or Bliss, or the Great Void! Into Light - returning to Love!

One simple poem that I quote over and over that Rumi leaves us and reminds us of in these desperate times is this:

Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field; I'll meet you there.

It is the ground state, this awareness , and it is within each of us and we only need turn inward, and turn and turn again - the endless returning that perhaps the Dervishes of the Mevlani line, founded by Rumi, demonstrate to us -

and in turning - foreground, background merge - thee and thou merge

The appearances of separation - merge

There is no demographic demarcation that can identify us anymore - we belong to each other completely as LOVE, LOVER AND BELOVED.

Even if you'v broken your vows a thousand times, come, come, yet again, come, Rumi invites - rededicate yourself to the truth wtih each breath. Return to ths awareness in each interaction. Return to this celelbration each morning and each evening. Return - to the Truth -

Ours is a caravan of endless Joy! Thank you Rumi and to each of you in the States, frantically preparing for your Christmas celebrations - may it be filled with Light.

Behind me, Kavya's sweet voice with her new words reminds me to turn within to my own innocence and my own "newness,"

I'll meet you there.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hi my Dear Friends and Family! I hope the holidays are filled with the Light that is birthed and rebirthed each time we remember to Love One Another and I hope each of you finds the Great Peace we are all seeking!

I think of India as a great Mother for me - there have been so many blessings each day! I am teaching a simple yoga/stretching class with meditation to the nuns at my nunnery on Monday mornings at 7 am and we are having so much fun! It can be tricky for some of the poses in a robes! But we are filled with smiles and this being our "holiday" and day off, it is a great way to let go of the stress of so much practice and work. from the wek before.

Our day begins early here and the nunnery is filled with the sounds of cymbals and horns for the 5 am puja in the temple, while some are in the kitchen preparing our breakfast. Mine, at 6 am, is simply tea and tsampa - a very Tibetan meal that I have come to look forward to for I am usually alone and the sun begins to rise behind the mountains and the dawn is always renewing and reminds us that we have the grace to begin again each day with devotion and dedication to our path of awakening!

My room is so very simple, for as you know, I have nothing but the things I brought in the big suitcase and this letting go of so much stuff was such a relief! Not mch to worry about. I am in the center of things here with my room close to the main gate and if you think it is all quiet and silence, think again! There is the Hindu chants and the call to prayers from the Muslims and the drums and cymbals of the monastery and the workers who come and go and the vegetable sellers who push their carts up the long road from the Tibetan colony and the coming and goings of the cows who outsmart us waiting for the first one to forget to lock the big gate! I, who used to be so attached to quiet , am in the middle of noise but it is not chaotic and I am not complaining, for this has been the gift of my practice and just another way to let go of my own expectations of how the world should be so that I can meditate!

In fact, I have to laugh at the past intolerance I have felt when I wanted the situations around me to change so that I could have peace of mind. Now, I can meditate anywhere and those of you who know me must realize that I have been so attached to quiet that to find quiet in this noisy world is the practice of finding PEACE within your own mind and that is freedom!

Don't get me wrong, there is also great peace here and I love these monks and nuns who so generously invite me into their lives whether I can teach English well or not!

One day, on the most crowded bus I have ever imagined, I looked out to the streets of dust, cars, scooters, people, cows and beggars and was overwhelmed with a desire to just embrace each and every individual and to tell each one that this embrace represents the embrace of Compassion and Love itself - to let each person know, they are not abandoned in this dream of suffering. All of a sudden, I knew I COULD embrace each one - and my heart - it opened - as if physically and I experience an unlimited space that could hold all beings - each and every one - wtihout exception. I was so joyful.

Love one another as I have loved you, says Jesus. Have compassion for all beings without exception, the Buddha; there is no God, but God, says the Muslim. Whatever language, whatever path, may we each find this embrace and extend this to others, now and always. May you know how much I love and appreciate your support of my journey. Thanks, Kay, for forwarding ths!

I am already making plans for the summer and will forward this to you within a few weeeks. Be well and at Peace- it is the true nature of your own mind!
Love, Nellie