Late July, 2010
Dear mum and dad
Hi! I have so much to share with you. I spent ten hard days of hard work: 4:00 am wake-up and 9;00 pm to bed with 10 hours of meditation in between, meals, some discourse lectures and some much needed naps. No talking, no eye contact or smile exchanging. I was surprised not to be lonely. I have a bright mind and a kind one and i can share that kindness and company with myself. As well as an overactive imagination that allows me to have conversations with people not present. Smile. Not a fun time by any means, but so very good. So much hard work. And it feels like such a solid start to something really important in my life. Smile.
I thought lots about the future – me and Jon, me and seminary, me and the church. I really think to be honest, I must admit that Buddhism speaks strongly to me – that it has much to offer that seems to be missing from Christianity. I had a moment when I thought well, just quit the MDiv program, do something else. but I don’t think that’s right. I think the key is to find ways that I can work for and in the church to enrich it to bring some of the gifts offered by Buddhist wisdom and insight much needed in our congregations – discipline, personal practice, an acknowledgment of the passing nature of the world and our ability only to control how we respond to the world but that in order to do this, we must know ourselves very well, at a very physical material level. I think the other piece is to continue to get to know the Christian tradition better, to get to know the Christian stories and immerse myself in Christian spirituality and spiritual practice. It’s interesting that Vipassana is not really sectarian. It draws much from Buddhism, indeed is linked to the Buddha’s own practice, but it does not require any sort of belief, and it does not preclude any sort of belief. Anyway, lots to talk about. But very exciting. Jon and I are good with just a few more days to be in Kathmandu then heading to Kalimpong. It’s too rainy to go now to Simi Gaun – the roads will be flooded, not much fun either in the bus or on foot. Another time will come.
I love you both lots and have been thinking of you heaps!! thandiwe