Taking advantage of our gondola pass and wanting to get a good cardio workout, Peter and I climbed (for the second time) straight up Mt. Mansfield, under the gondola. It was tough, but at least you have a stunning view, unlike on a stairmaster. My yoga practice is primarily stretching. I find Malasana really stretches the back, and a lot of forward bends, seated forward bend, and twists usually help.
Driving home from the retreat I thought I was floating through life. But coming home, you always hit ground, at least in the beginning of your dharma practice. Instead of spending nearly 8 hours of learning and meditation and silence, or exercise the rest, I am meditating now two times a day for 24 minute sessions, and well, the other 15 hours are in life. I think I liked it the other way around, so as I move forward, I will try to unclutter my mind and my life, simplify, enjoy more silence and incorporate more practice. I love the peace! I did stop on the way home to visit my daughter at college and instead of running around, I went to meditate at the Ramapo Reservation with the magnificent view.
For anyone who has attended a retreat with a revered teacher, you can probably share in the feelings that I am having right now, at the end of the retreat. Or, as I look at it, it's actually the beginning. Everything I have done before as led me to this point, exactly where I was meant to be. I just completed a week-long retreat with Alan Wallace, progressive scholar, and one of the most prolific writers and translators of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. I now feel like I have a very basic understanding of Buddhism and the language of the teachings. Now, that is very different from saying I actually understand the teachings. That's lifetimes. What I do understand is where I am on the path and where I want to go. And I have an idea of what the path is, and where to start. It was a beautiful retreat, and I believe life-changing. I look forward to sharing what I have learned to help decrease suffering and increase well-being in those I encounter, either directly or indirectly.