I arrived at Gampo Abbey at the Edge of North America in January 2017 and took temporary ordination as a Buddhist nun in the Shambhala tradition in February. It’s a great life here. I’m feeling so grateful for this time to deepen my practice and to live in community.
Life at the Abbey is challenging, and rewarding. The work is very physical – we have to take care of ourselves and our buildings, and the climate is not easy. What a breathtaking environment, it’s rugged and powerful, and we have incredible storms and amazing sunsets over the ocean.
Although our schedule is full, I’ve been able to carve out a few minutes most days to make some small paintings. My set up is very simple in my tiny room, and my materials are minimal. I’ve been using a variety of water soluble paints including acrylic, casein, and watercolour and lots of different mark-making devices. I am working primarily on a paper called TerraSkin, which is made of stone and is structurally very stable and archival.
The view of the ocean horizon out of the shrine room window is constantly changing. We have watched the sea ice and the lobster boats and even an occasional whale. Life here is organized in cycles of the moon – each new moon and full moon we renew our monastic vows in a ceremony called Sojong. At each Sojong I gather up the paintings that I have produced during the phase and tag them according to the cycle. Here is a sample of the work that I have produced.
Click Here for a glimpse of my life at Gampo Abbey since January 2017.