As explained in the introduction, I got permission at the beginning of my three-year Tibetan Buddhist retreat to keep in touch with the New Hampshire sangha by means of a monthly letter that would be posted on their website. When I was in retreat, I didn’t think of it as a “blog.” I just wrote a new “post” every once in a while (once a month for most of Year 1, much more sporadically as retreat progressed), mailed it to Arlo/Orlan, and never saw the result. I added my retreat graduation speech last spring and occasionally thought about continuing….but I wanted to reorganize the whole thing and it just seemed too complicated and amorphous, like a lot of things immediately following three years of one-thing-at-a-time. Plus life is very busy at the monastery!
Over the course of three-year retreat, I compartmentalized some of the things I learned in the form of aphorisms. This is the one I refer to the most often; it seems to apply to many situations and helps me avoid (somewhat) engaging in criticism and arguments. Thanks to Jean Frostick for the expansion of category three:
~Your way works better 30% of the time, my way works better 30% of the time, either way works 90% of the time, and the other 10% is going to be a disaster no matter what.~