Wednesday, January 03, 2007

the beginning

DhammaDena Desert Vipassana
Joshua Tree, Mohave Desert
Women's Retreat, 2006

It was winter in the high desert. Windswept sand, mind reflecting the great open space. It was there that we met the woman we had been waiting for, walking outside near the zendo. We had heard of her before from Brenda Walsh, and of the 200 plus acres of reforested coastal land that she had rescued a couple of decades back on the Sonoma Coast.

She had been inspired hearing Ruth's offer at the Women's Retreat of Samadhi House at DhammaDena for the use of our women's monastic community.

She welcomed us and other female monastics -- nuns, bhikkhunis, samaneris, siladharas -- for our retreat time, telling us of the benevolence of the land, of its privacy and safety, and of her dedication to its being open for the spiritual practice of women in nature.

We promised to remember her kind offer and to come to visit the land when we had the chance.