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May 26
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Level III: There’s Also Magic Online

Double rainbow over Madrid at the end of the weekend, (C) Peter Savaiano

Este artículo fue publicado originalmente en español aquí.

By Claudia Arnau and Eloy Portillo

Translated by Sonia Rodríguez & Peter Savaiano

We were afraid because we’d never done anything like this before, but we chose to take a leap of faith. We’d heard that some Shambhala Training weekend courses were being prepared to be done on Zoom, but it seemed that no one had done so yet.

Jeff Scott from Shambhala International recommended that we not overload the weekend and he asked us to let him know how everything went once we finished. So we decided to spread out  the course from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, and to do only two joint practice sessions – one on Saturday and one on Sunday – and even for those, to offer everybody the option to practice on their own.

On Friday, April 18th we gathered together: 17 participants of all ages, 4 different nationalities, and from 10 cities. Among them was the coordinator’s grandmother, for whom it was the first time using a computer alone. Her husband kindly helped her to log in to each session.

There was quite a lot of planning, Claudia’s fabulous coordination, three dedicated instructors – Begoña, Alejandro and Eloy – and a wonderful teacher, Felipe Rodríguez. A weekend as light as possible, flexible, and full of good humor.

The team worked tirelessly, but even so, it was a bit lacking in personnel. If we had to do it over again, we would have added some more members to the team.

Teacher Felipe Rodríguez gives a talk from his home (C) Felipe Rodríguez

Digital metaphors popped up in Felipe’s talks. For example, that the ego is similar to when you are closing tabs on your browser and realize that there are many others still open. But what truly captivated the participants was the invitation to walk on the knife’s edge. What was Felipe referring to? Isn’t there already enough danger in living with the threat of Covid-19?

The web and going into others’ houses had its own magic: paintings, shelves, tapestries, fridges, colorful bowls, and so on. Zoom has its beauty and its own drala. We also held personal interviews and debate groups, separated into three smaller Zoom breakout rooms. While entering and leaving, there were those who got lost in the ‘corridors’ of cyberspace.

Miksang photo (C) Claudia Arnau

We were introduced to Miksang practice and took some photos over the weekend. Some talked about finding beauty, even during lockdown. 

The last talk was given against a backdrop of rain and thunderstorms. Afterwards, we had 10 minutes to prepare some refreshments and snacks, then come back and celebrate together. Photos were shown, poems were read, and bad jokes were told. Teresa, Claudia’s grandmother, read ‘‘Don’t Give Up’’for us, a poem  by Mario Benedetti. It was a beautifully moving moment.

While we were celebrating, the sky cleared up and a huge double rainbow appeared over Madrid’s horizon. Magic had shown up.

We finished just in time, at exactly 8 o’clock in the evening, the time when we go out on our balconies to applaud  the healthcare workers and all those who are on the front lines against the pandemic.

Personally, I only missed Lu-Jong. Maybe next time.

We definitely were left with a desire for more.

Originally posted on the Shambhala Madrid Blog here.

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1 response to “ Level III: There’s Also Magic Online ”
  1. Kristine McCutcheon
    May 28, 2020

    How wonderful, I would love to hear from more online practices. I have been really enjoying our book clubs that are now entirely online. Go Madrid :)

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