Late spring rains have not only brought wildflowers, but also opened
our hearts to the simple, yet potent reminder of impermanence. As we
move rocks from a slide at the bottom of the land up to a small,
roadside crater at the top of the land, we can't help but giggle.
Maybe in a few years we'll all be shuttling these very same rocks
from the bottom to the top once again :)
This laughter comes much more readily thanks to the guidance of our
dear teacher, Anam Thubten, from whom we've been inspired at every
turn to remember the practice in caring for our beloved hermitage. As
we Caretakers come to the end of our two year commitment to
Sweetwater, we are feeling the blessings and lessons of this time
Read Anam Thubten's, Lessons from a Wildfire -
in the April edition of Lion's Roar magazine.
*Update on access to the land*
Road repairs are beginning on June 18th on Palo Colorado Rd (3.3
miles from Hwy 1). The repairs are currently scheduled to continue
through October. This will mean that the hermitage is accessible only
by hiking in or ATV for the last nearly 3 miles of of the journey,
and there will be little Dharmata sangha activity on the land during
As Caretakers of Sweetwater Sanctuary for the last two years, we have
been gifted a great lesson in impermanence and letting go. It's a
lesson that continues to this day. Just when we thought that we had
let go to the groundlessness post fire, severe flooding and
landslides the following winter reminded us of the fragility of the
ground to which we were still clinging for security. As we basked in
the superbloom of lupine and poppies that followed last spring, we
thought, "This is the bliss that comes with letting go." But in the
past year as we continued to work with collapsed roads and other
obstacles to rebuilding. Again and again we're amazed at all of the
subtle (and not so subtle) ways that we want to hang on - if even
just to our idea of what might become in the future.
This life feels like that long, winding river cascading down the
mountain through Sweetwater Sanctuary. There's no stopping its
course, but every once in a while large boulders will trap enough
water to create a sweet swimming hole. Eventually, the force of the
flow gives way to a waterfall. From the perspective of the swimming
hole it's a loss, from another perspective below the falls, it's a
beautiful shower instead. Who knows? If we can manage to let go of
our idea of what it was, as well as what we think it should or could
be, we might just be able to relax and enjoy what is - an ever
changing, spectacular display of experience that constantly invites
us to grow in ways beyond our imagination.
As we come to the end of our two year agreement as Caretakers in
June, we're feelings our hearts full of love and appreciation for all
of you. We are deeply grateful for the lessons you all have taught us
about giving and receiving, working together on a shared project, and
letting go. We look forward to continuing to support Sweetwater's
unfolding in new and different ways in collaboration with all of you,
to see how our beautiful Hermitage continues to grow and change in
the years to come.
As we approach this new season of transition at Sweetwater Sanctuary,
it seems we're once again invited to practice patience, cultivate
curiosity, and keep our hearts open as we navigate this next chapter
in her unfolding together. Dharmata is currently progressing through
the building permitting process with the help of an experienced,
local planning consultant along with our sangha architect. Though
project activity may not be as obvious on the land through this
period, much will continue to move forward behind the scenes. The
sangha will be informed as information and progress on the land
coalesces in the months ahead.
Top left: Mila & Alberto plant offerings from the succulent drive.
Top right: Lea and Roscoe weed the path to Prajna.
Lower left: Jillian with succulent donations.
Lower right: Catherine works in the Peace Garden.
Thank you to the sangha for all your efforts, care, and support of
our time at Sweetwater Sanctuary.
With love and gratitude,
Kay & Cory
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