Tag Archives: toilet

It isn’t easy Being Me


“I don’t want to be judged by who I am”

For over ten years now, Alistair has been Chef for our Thanksgiving gatherings and still I can find it a challenge to restrain myself from offering ‘helpful’ advice. Ahhhhhh….let it go Sakula, let it go…

How to Serve up a pleasant Holiday meal:

Take opinions from the freezer
Set them on the counter till thawed
Remove anything from the carcass not of personal responsibility and throw down
the toilet….flush
Simmer and serve remaining duties
Appreciate those of others

Retreating to the Woods

For some reasons I’ve been stuck lately, having a hard time writing to this blog. Not sure why. Maybe after I return from a ten day camping trip with my husband Alistair I’ll be back up and writing. Don’t know.

We’ll be camping in a ten by fourteen log cabin with a wood stove for cooking on one end and a huge river rock fireplace on the other. The toilet is an outhouse a hundred feet west of the house, the bath is a stream meandering just beyond.

The nearest town is an hours drive by car. We’ve been here before. We hiked nearly every day and only ran into another person once, a person with a cross bow on his back and camoflage on his face. Unfortunately for the deer he looked as determined as he did fit.

If we stick with the routine we’ll have predawn meditations, long, strenuous hikes and icy cold bathes. No cell phones, no computers, no one but the bears, cougars, deers and a whole lot of chattering birds to pull us away from our meditations, from our silence.

I hope it snows.

Will write again in about two weeks time.


Preparing for the Summer Hermitage

6:00 a.m.
Meditating in the early morning with a few friends is a pleasant way to begin a full days work. With the Summer Hermitage quickly approaching a few Upasika’s gathered for mediation, chanting and taking of precepts. The streets outside are unusually quiet, or maybe my mind simply lands on the sound of the birds lyrical chatter. Either way I welcome this calm beginning to the full day of community work ahead.

7:00 a.m.
Coffee and pastries welcome us back to the sensual realm. With great restraint I manage to avoid smacking my fingers as I break into a third bit of muffin.

Our numbers have grown from five to nine as we pile into cars and head out to the land in Mosier where we continue the work of preparing Micheal and Mimi’s land for the monks from Abhayagiri. Scott is the designated work manager and points us in varied directions. Being an artist I am happy to share responsibility with Ashleigh to do the finishing painting and plaster work in the yet-to-be-completed cookhouse.

12:00 noon
We break for meal and as usual the potluck proves abundant and delicious. Most the folks have been hurling large pieces of lumber down the steep hillsides, digging latrines and building platforms. For them the strong breeze must surely be a lovely compliment to our expanding bellies. I enjoy this part of the day; hungry, sweaty, tired and happily sharing the log tossing, latrine digging, paint dripping adventures.

3:00 p.m.
Ashleigh and I finish our work and decide to clean up and head down to the bottom of the hill to see what the others are up to. There’s Jennifer swinging a pickaxe while Scott, Alistair and Mike review the exact location of where the shade will most likely fall when the monks first rise from their kuti’s.

Ok, so they are dripping in sweat, as is Jennifer too, still, its quite a priceless picture don’t you think? Jennifer looks up and beams a big smile, hoist her tools atop her shoulders and heads up the hill. I follow her because she’s my ride back to Portland. Once on top she shares her joy in digging the toilet, so much so that she’s volunteer to come back on Tuesday and make it a wee bit deeper yet.

All in all, a very good day, with very good people, doing a very good thing for a very good reason; getting ready for the monks who will visit, give Dhamma and receive Alms.