Karme Choling: what you have taught me, what I have learned, and what I will remember.
A.K.A., the List.
I’ve learned how to open
I’ve learned how to love
I’ve learned about heartbreak
Over and over again
I’ve learned about loneliness
The joy of laughter in the air
The comfort of silence
The excitement of many people
The sadness of empty space once they have gone
The green of green
The brightness of snow
The dullness of dead growth
The crawling of lady bugs in the corner of the walls
The swarms of wasps
The fear of ticks
The soft petals of the iris, the poppy, and the peony
The trees showing off their bright colors, dancing in the wind
The Northeastern wintery mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow
The fear of driving down the driveway and being stuck in a rut
The excitement of the Sakyong coming
The clouds in the sky
The mists in the hills
The sun over the horizon
The moon and the stars illuminating the night in winter, spring, summer and fall
The irritation of the dish room
The avoidance of the person who just broke your heart
The laughter in the service line
The unfounded explosion of anger towards the dishes in the hospitality kitchen
The feeling when the person you were just talking about, comes around the corner
Devastation and loss
Splinters on the porch with never ending blooming flowers
Herds of deer at dusk
The solitude of retreat
The cozy corner
Memories of people gone and versions of myself over time
Snow on my eyelashes
Offering, offering, and offering again.
But nothing that I have offered compares to what Karme Choling has offered me.
Tara Bass was the Assistant Director of Karmê Chöling from September 2014 to December 2016. She discovered Shambhala and the magic of land centers at Shambhala Mountain Center in 2008. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and was an elementary teacher in New York. She feels privileged to be able to combine the collective experience of her education, training and interests to work with individuals and community by leading from the heart, celebrating collective wisdom, and engaging in the full experience of living.
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