Miles Neale receiving blessings at shrine

Year's End Reflection

2020 astrology atisha contemplative studies program dalai lama dorje zong nunnery geshe tenzin zopa karma lineage merit pandemic service project shadow tsongkhapa Dec 31, 2020

My dear friends,

As the new year dawns I offer my reflections on this year we will never forget. 

Despite challenges unseen in a hundred years we remained steadfast together on the gradual path and never faltered a single step. We made no excuses. Wasted no time. We forged ahead in the face of uncertainty, death, loss, and adversity. 

We took every opportunity to purify karma, accumulate merit, integrate shadow, and bask in what glimmers of light there were. 

We put in the work, we prayed and were silent, we cried and laughed, we regressed and grew beyond every limitation.

We completed seven long courses, seven meditation workshops,  comprising over a 150 hours of study in the past two years. 

We've almost reached our goal of $20K for the nuns of Dorje Zong nunnery in Zanskar, India, who, while remaining nameless and faceless, touched our hearts and inspired us to selfless action nonetheless.

At times the pace of our study was unrelenting. I was demanding, the circumstances unforgiving, but we all stepped up and through into the dark night. That is how leaders are born. For without trail there can be no treasure. 

Now there is light at the end of the tunnel, rebirth is at hand, and our journey is about to come full circle. A snake eating its tail. 

I see my beautiful students and friends blossoming. Shedding the old and embracing the new in an epic metamorphosis. 

You are finding new lovers, new places to live, launching new careers, starting new projects, offering new services, reclaiming your voices, reclaiming your bodies, strengthening new habits, finding and sharing gifts you never knew you had.

All singularly aligned with the bodhisattva vision and vows we took with His Holiness the Dalai Lama together during lockdown.

It’s the most inspiring thing for me to witness and to be a part of. I will never find words to convey how honored and proud I am of what we have accomplished together during the pandemic motivated by Dharma and under the jewel tree refuge.

You know who you are. Each of you. You know what you have sacrificed. Now is your time to claim what you have rightfully earned and to share it with others. 

We have survived the breakdown of Saturn’s limiting structures, the menacing upsurge of Pluto’s dark revelation, and now it’s time to ride Jupiter’s wave of glorious expansion into new horizons. 

The lam rim is over a thousand years old, and we have each tread the very same path as our lama Tenzin Zopa and his lama before him all the way back to Lama Tsongkhapa and master Atisha. Always remember your lineage, it’s root, and fruition. In this life and the next there is no greater honor than to know where you come from and where you are going. You are a child of the Buddha, gradually awakening. 

You are today’s torch bearers of the great stages of the path. If I may encourage you as we stand at this cross road: please go forth into the new year with unshakable confidence and without any hesitation share all that you are. 

With love,

Miles