The last weekend in August, I had the privilege of going to Baltimore, MD for a workshop with Jim Drescher, co-founder of Windhorse Farm (www.windhorsefarm.org). It was a leadership conference for sangha leaders in Shambhala, which is a Buddhist community and lineage I’m part of.
I didn’t really know what to expect, and I didn’t even know who Jim Drescher was, but it was important to my sangha for a couple of us to attend and hopefully bring back some potent information to help us. I missed the Friday evening component, but was there for the rest of the weekend. To say it was a rich weekend, well, it’s an understatement. I was there with the hope of picking up a few practices or techniques for growing and strengthening our little group back home. What I got was inspired.
But first, I was scared.
Jim had some travel delays and so, as we waited for his arrival, we were given the unique opportunity to have Jane Arthur, the recently appointed Minister of the Pillar of Government for Shambhala International as our facilitator and teacher for the day.
I’ve seen a lot of people convicted with ideas before. But her conviction about the idea that enlightened society was possible and worth working for – this grew out of and was overflowing with great clarity and bright light wisdom. Big mind. Big sky. And all that light that Minister Arthur spoke from, it shone on the darkest corners of my heart and mind. I saw where I was afraid of the vision she shared from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. And I knew I wanted to live my life helping that vision spread. No small task. But hey, what else is there to do?
It starts with knowing our own minds.
I’ve been meditating on a cushion for about eleven years. I’ve been journaling for thirty-two years (I started at 12; you do the math). Yeah, I’ve looked at my mind, my heart, my life, the life of those around me, the way society works, all of it, pretty closely for a long time. And I’m a beautiful mess, unraveling my “stuff” one breath and one word at a time.
Saturday afternoon Jim Drescher arrived. He runs this place called Windhorse Farm. He farms and builds and meditates and coaches people into their own wisdom around leadership. I liked him a lot. What I liked most was that he is someone who knows how to ask really good questions. That’s kind of my thing, my fascination. How do I unearth enough wisdom to hear what you are saying and ask you a really good question to help you unearth your own wisdom, your own big sky mind?
Sunday evening, I got on a plane and came home. Something happened in those two days, and in all the days leading up to it. Clear mind. I knew something was unfolding and if I just stayed alert and calm, I might glimpse it.
See, I’ve been tuning in to the rumbling under my feet for a while now. And Monday night there was a calm. A space. A gap. Ah, precious moment of stillness in my churning, burning heart. Yesterday I woke up and there it was. The time. The idea. It made sense.
I’ve known for a few months I didn’t want to add static noise to the world. But neither did I know how to play my part in the symphony (or the jam band!). Life is so short. I don’t want to miss any more moments of it, creating forecasts and predictions based on wishes and magic and daydreams. Nope. I figured out how to be more here and now. I still fight it a lot. But now I get it, why I’m here, why I’m now. And thanks to Jim, I’ve been reminded nothing is missing from me or from you. Isn’t that good news? It’s all here, our energy, our consciousness, our wisdom. Nothing is missing. And I’m going to write about it.
If you’re involved in this work and need a writer to work with you on projects around mindfulness, enlightened society, leadership, meditation, awareness, communication, what science is finding regarding these fields, any of it, all of it, let’s talk. Books, articles, blogs, marketing materials, web content, etc. Ready? I am.