Day Two up here at the Dharma center in Maryland.
Today, we did Green Tara practice. It was a beautiful text from the Marpa tradition – the Udumwara Sadhana. I am used to doing a short Tara practice, this text was a bit longer and it also included the Praise to the 21 Taras, which is very pleasant. For whatever reason, it seemed like we were in a time warp. It was nice, but if you told me we did the mantra and prayers for eight hours, I would believe you. As it was, more like two hours elapsed.
Then we had lunch at the Clay Oven, a Tibetan lama favorite. Delicious Indian food. It was nice to share that with friends.
Then rest in the afternoon, taking it easy. Followed by a gorgeous hike through the woods of the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. On the yellow trail hike, I was pleasantly surprised to discover several dozen paw paw trees! If we go back there in late August, there will definitely be some fruit.
From years past, I was already aware of the sea of ferns and the oceans of a small-yucca-looking plant with a stalk with white flowers. It is similar to the foam flower. Also from years past, I was aware of overlooks from the trail where one can look down over Frederick. But we would have had to hike another two miles (meaning four more miles round trip) and we ran out of time. We got good exercise as it was, hiking four miles round trip over rocky, hilly terrain.
It was a very pleasant day. Glad to be up here among good teachers and good company.