I have been a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism for the last eight years. My practice has developed slowly over time. First, my main focus was stabilizing the mind, practicing shamatha and encountering the insights that accompany it. I slowly added awareness of the subtle body and its imprints to my practice, understanding that which needed to be healed. Overtime, however, my practice has centered around nature of mind teachings, in particular Mahamudra and Dzogchen. The most touching and simple insight has been discovering a vaster kind of compassion: the kind that comes from seeing through the illusion of our separateness. My daily prayer is that any insight from my practice is always directional, geared towards supporting others.
I used to work as a legal aid attorney, representing people who could not afford a lawyer in civil legal matters. But, after a series of profound losses, I found myself drawn to volunteering at hospice and engaging in Buddhist practice. It soon became clear to me that I had an earnest yearning to engage in spiritual and emotional care for the sick and dying "full-time," and so, I returned to graduate school to study chaplaincy. Along the way, I've been fortunate to serve as a chaplain in a few contexts. In May 2021, I will be a Buddhist graduating from a Christian seminary with the degree needed to serve as a chaplain full-time. I have already accepted a position (set to start in the summer of 2021) as a chaplain resident at the University of Colorado Hospital just outside of Denver. I feel very fortunate for this opportunity and the path of service. All along the way, whether as a public interest attorney or a chaplain, I've never made much money - only just enough to cover the most basic living expenses. I do my best to live simply. Though I'm grateful for what I do have (enough for a roof over my head for practice!) retreats are still out of reach for the time being without the generosity of others. It is my great hope that I might be able to fund the retreats of others one day, but for now - I am asking for assistance to go on a solitary retreat, to deepen my practice.
Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Mingyur Rinpoche
My hope is to spend a few days in solitary retreat to dive more deeply into the Dzogchen teachings I am studying (Patrul Rinpoche's pith instructions on Self-Liberating Meditation). At the beginning and end of each day, I also plan to practice the preliminary practices Mingyur Rinpoche designed for his students.
When I am on solitary retreat, I follow a schedule of practicing 8 hours a day. It is with great joy that I will offer any benefits of my practice to the freedom and deep happiness all sentient beings, but with a special dedication to all those who have suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic. Thank you for considering funding this retreat!
$500 - Lodging for 4-night solitary retreat
$100 - Cost of Food
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