If you want to be inspired to do more Dharma practice, host a Tibetan lama or even just a humble retreatant for a few days.
I was fortunate to do just this as I hosted a retreatant for a few days last week. He has spent time learning the Tibetan language and he has spent thousands of hours now in isolated retreat in India for close to seven years or more.
Prior to his arriving, I was doing about 30 minutes (tops) of structured practice a day (on my own), along with a meditation group or two here and there each week. However, in the days leading up to his arrival, I think my body could feel the improved energetic dynamic coming, and I started to do a little more practice.
It is difficult to describe. And I’m sure if you asked him, he’d say that he has absolutely no special qualities. But I felt inspired to create more when he was downstairs doing his practice. I cooked almost every meal at home and it was easy. Not just because I was cooking for a friend, but it was more than that. The creativity flowed.
He was sharing my space for less than 72 hours, but it made a difference. At least for a week afterward I felt a momentum I typically only feel after a retreat with Tibetan lamas. I did more refuge practice and felt compelled to resist any urge to watch Netflix. I did more yoga and more Zapchen somatics. More self care.
I am having a change of heart I think. For a while there I thought I was not meant to do any kind of structured, extended retreat in this lifetime. But I am now rethinking that. Not that I have any desire to do the traditional 3 year – 3 fortnight retreat that the Lamas typically all complete. But even just a 90-day retreat in Ladakh would be incredible. I wonder if I could even complete it (of course, if I set it up just right, I might not have a choice but to go through with it!).
Who knows what the future holds. One thing is for certain though: if I get married in this lifetime, my partner is going to need to be open to the possibility of my doing a one to three month long retreat at a retreat center or monastery.
Thanks for reading!
May you be blessed and a blessing,