January 2018 Monthly Review

January was a big month, February is even bigger.

Monastic Academy

Early January, we ran our second circling event at the Monastic Academy. Despite heavy storms and negative twenty temperatures, about a dozen guests came to play. We ran this weekend to be more monastic with extra sitting, silent periods, and chanting. Everything ran real smooth. I’m also happy that we were able to receive more income this second time thereby giving more proof that circling could be a sustainable long term project for service and funds for the Academy.

The center is moving forward with plans to build zendos in the summer here thereby giving us finally a dedicated space for practice. Previously, we always changed our dining/sitting/main hall to meet our needs at the moment. With dedicated zendos, we won’t have this problem anymore. We’re also seriously trying to start a second seed center in California later this year which is exciting. I feel pretty good about Vermont these days but there’s a lot more action and people in California too.

We have a new resident on trial basis right now along with other residents finishing up their trial periods. It feels good to have a larger staff, could still use more though. Miles also left this January which was a real loss and at the same time, haven’t felt the gap as much as I thought I would.

Psychology/Health

Big pieces falling into place after returning from NYC circling training with the Circling Europe crew. Continual exploration around how to relate with others on a really honest and intimate way. My weakness around feeling the automatic need to take care of others over caring for myself. How to express negative feelings like anger or disgust and not take responsibility for how others feel but also not being disconnected from them. Also, really wanting to be nourished and cared for but feeling only a few people can really do that for me.

Friend mentioned that I’m very sensitive to what others want from me. I can sense what others want and automatically both feel drawn to meet their needs and also resent it.

Meditation

Biggest piece is that I’m going into solitary cabin retreat for several months very very soon. I’m trying to close out everything like insurance, credit card payments, taxes, etc. I have felt my practice deepen in the past week as my body-mind seems to automatically be preparing for the cabin. At the same time, I also experiencing a lot of fantasies and day dreaming. I haven’t done a cabin retreat beyond the five day back in October. But, I’m looking to really breakthrough to a significant spiritual insight.

Circling

I already mentioned the weekend we hosted in early January. I’m hopeful to continue to offer them in the future here.

I also was invited and accepted to be a TA in this year’s Circling Europe SAS six month training in NYC. We did our first weekend about two weeks ago. I entered some challenging territory with one of the other residents on the last day (somewhat proud I can directly link three people at SAS introduced to circling via me or a person I introduced). Overall, I’m surprised at how natural circling feels. I see my weakness is mainly in staying in surrender and connection with others the entire time.

Circling definitely feels extremely important to me, second only to enlightenment although I think circling helps significant towards awakening and with some fitness could possibly be a very powerful vehicle towards awakening.

I’m thinking after the cabin retreat of offering more long term training in circling for the residents and Burlington crew. There’s a lot that I learned over time through experience and instruction that I’m realizing most people aren’t getting when we do circling together. I want to make it more explicit and guided to train other circling leaders here.

Misc Life

Thorson sent me this Metamodernism book. I love it. It’s not perfect by any means. But, it connects so many disparate dots into a cohesive whole. The basic gist is that with the complexity of the world today, we need a new type of politics that works to develop all people. This type of metamodern politics acknowledges that a suffering population is unable to cope with today’s hyper interconnected problems and so we need to support everyone’s spiritual, economic, and psychological development. We realize that people’s internal experience and reality is vitally important and connected to the welfare of the planet and society.

When I first read the book, I was so psyched, I felt the call to vow my life towards realizing this dream. It was very similar to how I Felt when I read An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization but expanded to include so much more. Half the book is on politics and other half is devoted to his model of adult development. Can read bits by the author on his blog here.

Crypto

Wow, the markets are falling both stock and cryptocurrencies. I regret falling into the delusion back in late December/early January when it was at its peak. In hindsight, it would have made more sense to cash out a portion of my earnings and wait until the next crash which is now. Hopefully, it’ll recover in the next few months.

Feb – Apr Plans

Solo Retreat. Likely until late April, early May. No internet, phone, or other contact. If there’s an emergency contact Center for Mindful Learning.

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