With a Bubbling and Raw Heart, Fresh From DDL

 Raising the colors on a crisp winter morning during the

Winter Family Gathering and Practice Intensive

After morning chants with the children in the main shrine room

the adults continued with their practice of choice

Kelvin Mansaray playing the violin on New Year’s Eve;

what beauty and heart, we all felt the dralas smile

Learning to drum during the Heart Sutra

I went to the Holiday Practice Intensive this past week at Dorje Denma Ling with my almost 11 year old daughter – it was my first program there. This program was one where families were welcomed as well as non families.  Indeed while all adults were involved in their practice of choice, children were formally looked after by gifted Juliana Barnard and Odessa Spore in the mornings, and invited to participate with their parents, if they chose, for afternoon activities. Meal times and morning chants gathered both generations and never once was there screaming or kicking. The gentle sparkle of Shambhala shone throughout the week with the children, alive, happy, alert, sculpting the snow for creative sledding rides for each other and waiting patiently in line to take turns, (evolving independently almost in a fully functioning parallel universe) and the adults slowly coming to, (I am talking only for myself here!) in their selected programs cradled by the DDL ground, staff, coordinators and teachers, David and second generation teacher, Julia Sable… Some evenings, adults and children spontaneously shared their musical talents, and this all the way to theatrical offerings on December 31st – it worked brilliantly.

A heartfelt thank you to director Patricia Hayward and the staff of DDL for their vision and offering of such a program whereindividual path meets family path. On a practical level, thank you also for making bringing children so accessible by charging virtually nothing… Ever since my daughter was born I have on many occasions not attended talks or programs for the mere reason that child care was not available… I hope this programs becomes a blueprint for further such programs… proof that it not only can be done and works, but, I believe it is fair for me to say, that all, parent or non-parent involved, are enriched by the end of it –  not unlike a yun experience perhaps…
With a bubbling and raw heart, fresh from DDL…
By Pascale Roger-McKeever