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Jun 10
Monday
Community Articles, Pacific Northwest
Seattle Weekthun Report on hard-boiled eggs and enlightened silliness

portlanders-channel-dignitiesFour of us from Portland participated in the Vajrayana Weekthün with Acharya Susan Chapman in Seattle a few weeks ago.   We tried to channel the four dignities in the kitchen one day during  work period.  Left to right are: Dragon lady Jay Stewart, Garuda Nora Nichols, Lion Michael McCormick, and Tiger John Smith.

I was determined to share some notes  about us, about our time there, and about the Seattle practice situation.  So here goes.  It was wonderful that there were people from all up and down the West coast — from the Bay Area to Alaska.  One thing you realize is that a week of practice is very rich from a meditation perspective, but it’s also an opportunity to learn about other things as well.  For example, Nora recalls:

“I finally found out how to cook hard-boiled eggs so that they peel, which is going to help a lot for preparing breakfast at our center. This is Martha in Seattle’s technique and it worked for all the times we had boiled eggs at the weekthun: Put the eggs in a pan with cold water and turn on burner. When they start to boil turn burner off and let them sit covered for 20 min and then put them in COLD water…even with ice and cold packs and then when they are completely cold take them out of the water and they will peel. The first one I peeled was a little hard but after 15 minutes they all peeled perfectly.”

Cooking-demo-torma-feast-preparation

Some people took notes on their smartphones.

I was impressed that the book-keeping got done right during the last afternoon of the retreat:

gathering-of-the-receipts

This is “the gathering of all the receipts from the Weekthun” ceremony. On the left is Alice Kelly, the weeks’ coordinator, Director Tom Gaylord is in the middle doing the heavy lifting, and former Director Marcia Oberg is sitting on the right advising on various matters great and small. Breakfast cook Martha Silverspring is on the far right.

One notable practice achievement for me was to reach a new level of silliness during the celebration at the end.  I’ve always felt like Shambhalians are admirable in their ability to let go and be completely fearless after a long period of practice and I’ve always felt quite inadequate in that department.  So in honor of all the discussion about hard boiled eggs and the teachings about “the enemies of the four directions,” I came up with this silliness:

Aspiration On the Heels of Shambhala (or on “the peels of Shambhala” if you will)

 On arising as Merchants:
  • May all your classes fill up
  • May your center’s Facebook page be littered with hundreds of  “likes”
  • May the generosity of your sangha blow you away
  • And, may all hard boiled eggs you serve at all your programs peel easily

On arising as Relatives:

  • May your family’s grapevine tell the truth and your backchannel whisper compassion
  • May our children living near or far flourish as warriors
  • May the doors of Shambhala be flung wide open
  • And, may all the hard boiled eggshells not litter your carpet
On arising as Professionals:
  • May your center’s books pass muster and NOT need cooking
  • May all your rotas be appealing and all-accomplishing
  • May your all your committee meetings be perfumed with basic goodness
  • And, may all the hard boiled eggs of Shambhala peel well

On arising as Entertainers:

  • May all your toasts be brief, colorful and inspiring
  • May all the gardens throughout the mandala be as productive and spectacular as Seattle’s
  • May a multitude of poets come out of the walls
  • And, may all us hard boiled Shambhalians have a soft center

From: Portland News Magazine

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