After years of deliberating the merit of time and resources for a month’s leave, I am ready to travel and volunteer at Tara Mandala led by incredible Lama Tsultrim Allione. The opportunity opened unexpectedly, easily even.
Back in May, my Jyotisha teacher had told me that it was time for a deep retreat. I was asked to join her on her travel to Costa Rica where she would be teaching at the Sanctuary at Two Rivers a three week, 200 hour course on Samkhya specifically for Yoga teachers. While the call seemed exciting, I am slow and deliberate in my moves and I tend not to prioritize likes and wants.
I begun my work with Lama Tsultrim‘s teachings with self-thought Kapala Training 5-6 years ago when I came across a program based on Machig Labdrön’s lineage practices. Lama Tsultrim is a mother and a grandmother and I was attracted to practicality of her approach of deep, serious spiritual work infused with commentaries on powerful contemporary and traditional feminine roles. I have been an advocate for Toronto water birth for close to 20 years, and because of that I was lucky to witness power (and responsibility) women have to lead compassionately by listening to their own hearts, and to those of others. A largely unpublicized Toronto revolution that brought birth back home in a literal sense helped me become less cynical about the power of small groups of committed citizens. In other words, female lineages are defining my path.Yet, life has its ups and downs and the occasional tragedy which leaves us vulnerable. I had a couple of years like that and am in the midst of one now. I had this fear of leaving my family without protection, regardless of the fact it mainly consisted of cooking dinner and ensuring laundry is done on weekends. My husband and daughter did not seem to mind me leaving and were perfectly content with the new deal proposed. The roles I was supposed to play, the things I was supposed to do, the sacrifices I was supposed to make, nobody cared if I making them or not. My ego took a blow.
So, sheepishly I sent my application to Tara Mandala and got a response within the week, inviting me for an hour long interview. They wanted to understand my motives. Am I running away from something or somebody? Is my heart broken and I hope this trip will fix it? The interview rather turned out very short. In fact, they welcomed me with so much love and openness so quickly that I could hardly believe that somebody so unknown to me was speaking with such kindness. In a sense, I suppose, I was not new to them nor they to me – it was a recognition of old patterns, and perhaps, our past lives.
And then the entire Universe started rolling in – finding an effective and easy flight with a travel agent coincidentally interested in meditation as well, people appearing at the airport to take me to the Tara Mandala at the time I needed them, everywhere I turned to offered help and support.
That said, I am not sure what the outcomes will be. I know I will experience some things best not to share, be they ugly or blissful. What I do know is that I’m receiving a guidance from a place that is much larger than my own wants and needs.
And I am thankful to my teachers and my destiny for helping me to have a courage to choose in life what I need, here, and in all things.