An Update from Gampo Abbey and Request to help Ruth Hampton return to Portland

Ruth_Hampton_Yarne RainbowRuth Hampton writes us from Gampo Abbey:

Hello Portland Shambhalians! What an amazing year plus this has been at Gampo Abbey! Finally it is beginning to warm up, and our garden is growing. It’s a long winter here in Nova Scotia…snow in May! The practice and environment here lends itself to a certain level of intensity…like ice pellets in your face! I have experienced so much in my time here and have been able to deepen in my practice. When one says “deepen in my practice”, I imagine that this brings to mind intense meditative states, deep awakening, freedom from samsara…etc. Mostly, I feel like I have simply learned how to sit with my ever moving, ever changing mind. That’s it…just sit. Nothing fancy! Okay…maybe still learning. I am a restless individual. Ruth_Hampton_IMG_3599The act of meditation is quite a simple and boring…yes, boring…activity, and at the same time, it has a profound impact on our lives. I tell you from experience…it is a profound activity to simply sit with yourself and let yourself be. I believe that is why when they say that only sitting 10 minutes a day makes a difference. If you allow yourself brief moments, informal moments, to simply be with yourself, you begin the process that Pema Chodron speaks about of making friends with yourself. I have to admit that in the course of this year that person (me) I am making friends with is not the person that I thought I was. The person that I have met and continue to meet is a complex array of emotions and ways of being. It’s not all pretty, people! During this year, I have seen things about myself that have humbled me greatly and have somehow awakened compassion for myself and others. In those moments when I lack kindness and compassion, perhaps the only shining light is that I see it clearly. I see that I lack kindness. Mindfulness…the first step, eh? I continue along this path and try to remain open and curious. Ruth_Hampton_IMG_3474I arrived at Gampo Abbey April 2013, and I had planned to leave after my one year commitment of being a temporary monastic had ended in April 2014. Various things have conspired, and I am still here! Initially, I was going to be working in Canada at a nearby resort for the summer, but at the very last minute, the work visa permit fell through. Alas, I was in Canada with no where to go and limited funds. Short of the long, Gampo Abbey was in need of volunteer support, and I was able to fill that space. It has worked well for us both. Currently at the Abbey, we are going through the Basic Goodness series…”How can I help?”. I am enjoying the classes and the questions that the classes are posing. It’s good to see that Portland has many other wonderful things to engage in when I return. I look forward to being part of the Portland Sangha and offering whatever I can. Ah…the class is sinking in…I’m already thinking…”How can I help?”!! In August, I return to Portland, and I look forward to reconnecting with you. The Request… Ruth_Hampton_IMG_2398Here is how you can help me if you feel called. Because of my change in plans with work and continuing on at Gampo Abbey, I am needing to raise funds to cover my travels costs to return to Portland. Below is the link for my Offering Bowl site. If you feel like contributing, that would be an immense help. And if you do, I could offer you a small token of a complimentary haircut. :) I was a hairstylist for many years. Or, I can also simply offer you my gratitude and commitment to practice. Or perhaps, you can let me know how I can help you. http://theofferingbowl.com/index.php/petitioners/441-ruth-hampton-2014 Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I am curious to hear about your lives when I return and continue along this path with you. With love, Ruth

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