The sea ice arrived a full month early this year, the second week in January. Of course this scene always makes my heart sing. I’m starting my second year here at Gampo Abbey and feeling very grateful for this opportunity in my life.
The structure of monastic life blends daily periods of meditation practice with our work – the things we do to care for ourselves and each other. In my experience it is living in community that is the best learning experience and the place where we practice what we are learning.
In the month of December I had a terrific solitary retreat in a cabin looking out over the ocean with a wood stove and many hours to engage in the practice of looking. I experimented with some unusual materials that were offered from the garbage pile at the Abbey, including a box of thermal paper from an old credit card processing machine. What joy to find that very colour I had been seeing in the ocean, an intriguing shade of green grey, was just what I was able to achieve by manipulating the thermal paper with various hot tools. Sometimes it even looks like Asian ink landscape paintings.
Click here to see some examples of what I have been making these last few months.