I have been reflecting on my time spent at the Dharma Centre of Canada, and all of the benefits that have come my way as a result. The following list is long, but not finite:
The opportunity to live on a vast and wondrous property that has so much history and magic that at times it was overwhelming! I will never forget the early winter mornings that required a flashlight to see the way until my first glimpse of the Temple’s shining lights. A definitely inspiring sight!
Being part of the DCC staff Sangha. We practiced together for 2 hours a day all winter and this allowed me to deepen my spiritual path and my commitment to continue meditating and living mindfully.
Working with so many different people from all over the world was an opportunity to learn about other customs and foods.
Meeting many of the people who came to the DCC for Retreats was always a pleasure. For the silent Retreats, I had to learn how to work without disrupting their silence. It took a while, but eventually it became second nature thanks to the seasoned staff members. Learning how to be respectful of others needs will assist me in everything that I do with people.
Being allowed to participate in some of the Retreat classes and meditations was an added benefit.
Our sometimes Resident Teachers, Mala and Terry, were an excellent resource for me. I learned so much during their stay at the DCC! For the first time I felt that I had access to spiritual guidance. With their help and guidance we tackled many areas at the DCC that had been left untended for a long time. The work was hard at times, but very rewarding. There is a degree of stewardship required when caring for such a valuable spiritual centre. At all times Mala and Terry, with help from staff, did their very best to uphold that stewardship.
The Staff Retreat was a wonderful gift, and I learned so much from Terry’s classes, Dharma talks and guided meditations. It was like a peek into a very long and complicated legacy which left me wanting to know more. That will be a lifetime goal for me.
I learned new skills in the kitchen from Terry, Steph, Marion, Ludo, and Marta. Even Mike showed me a different way to make salads, although a steady diet of raw garlic and onion would not be my choice! I found the kitchen to be physically challenging for my hands and I did not have the skills and experience to be the Cook or Kitchen Manager. That left me feeling that I was not useful in the kitchen, but Nick helped me find other areas of the DCC that I could help with.
Nick has been a pleasure to work with. His enthusiasm and unending energy at times made me feel vastly older, but I was always inspired! I know I have benefited by working with him, and the DCC has a bright and optimistic future with Nick at the helm! I thought of him as the ‘young pup’, but this ‘old dog’ learned a thing or two from him!
Marion and Ludo taught me many things with patience, goodwill and humour. I will always be grateful for their assistance and guidance when I first arrived at the DCC on December 30th.
Prakhar has been a good friend to me and he is Charlee’s second love (after me of course)! We have had such fun and so many laughs. Watching Prakhar and Charlee racing to see who is the fastest provided much needed entertainment after our work was done for the day. He is a good person and I know that he will work hard to complete his duties at the DCC, and to continue on his spiritual path.
I could go on and on, but what I really wanted to say was that I am grateful for my time at the DCC. I am also happy that the DCC has such a dedicated Board of Directors and such talented and dedicated staff on the ground. I have great hopes for the future of the Dharma Centre of Canada, and if my path leads me back there I will be happy about that too! With all of my thoughts and best wishes, Melody Campbell