These last few weeks have been abounding in teaching. I am sometimes a slow learner, but the lessons are starting to kick in.
While I have been looking forward to the move to Pennsylvania, I have been battling with a sense of loss. The Sangha and lay community have provided an abundance of support to me over the last few years. I will remain in contact with many of them, but the physical space apart means a loss of many wise examples.
Like Ananda, I have wept over the impending separation from guides, friends, and teachers. And, like Ananda, I am also reminded by the Buddha: "Have I not already told you that all things that are pleasant and delightful are changeable, subject to separation and becoming other?". In the past, I had felt sorry for Ananda for not understanding this, yet here I've been in the same place. I know it's all impermanent, but it doesn't mean I like it...darnit!
But through reflection, reading the Dhamma, and talking with other spiritual friends and Sangha members, what I'm realizing is that the sense of loss will probably continue to arise from time to time, but will also pass.
I also realized that this is probably just what I need. Like a baby bird learning to fly, it's time to take the guidance and examples I've received over the past few years and put them to the test: it's time for that first flight.
I may not have the Sangha in close proximity, but I will still have the Buddha and His teachings. I will also have the Sangha with me in the practice that they have helped me to cultivate.
As I was also reminded recently. "Wherever you go, there's your practice". There will be new twists and turns to learn, new patterns to master. But after this last week, I feel more prepared to take that first step out of the nest.
Here we go...