My dear friends, I say with some sadness in my heart that I will soon be temporarily separating further from open source. I have done much healing and made significant progress since my last post (break from open source). However, I am at my limit for the duration that I can continue living at my parents house, both for the amount of time that they will continue being here and because they are sadly still quite toxic because of their own struggles; so as long as I remain with them I don’t think I can fully heal.
So, in order to fully heal, I plan to fully leverage what has helped me the most through difficult times: mindfulness meditation. My intention is to begin the process of becoming a Buddhist monk, specifically in a local Thai temple where it is common to become a monk in early adulthood for a very flexible and often brief duration (often a few weeks to months). I am intending to start this process in the coming weeks.
I am writing this topic because the entire core team holds a special place in my heart, and I will always remember the kindness provided to me from so many of you. I fully intend to venture back into this sphere again some day, but in the meantime, please continue to help make the virtual world a better place in my stead.
As a parting gift of sorts, I’ve been building a playlist of positive healing music that has helped me a lot through difficult times: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLn9qaMjn00WC-cnEAo8WbGRPXPGbYh01e. I hope that it may help others similar to how it has helped me.
Much Platonic Love,
While I’ll miss your participation in our community, I’m very happy to hear that you’ve found a way to remove yourself from what you’ve recognized as an environment that is toxic for you.
I wish you the best of luck, and hope for you to rejoin us when you’re in a better place!
Thanks Kyle. I hope that you will find a better place to live and keep us up to date about your adventures!
Thanks for the playlist.
Yesterday, I had an amazing visit at the Thai temple grounds. They had these beautiful gardens and incredible food for a donation event (best Thai Tea ever!). While there, I attended a 1hr chanting sermon and silent meditation in the main temple room. It was a very powerful experience that I’d highly recommend for people to give a try at least once in their lifetime. It was probably the most culturally immersive experience that I’ve ever had.
However, the suboptimal news is that for residency, they only accepts initiates in Thailand, and all of the monks that go to the local temple are out-of-country missionaries (I spoke with a monk and elder in the community that served as an English translator). However, I did find a potentially promising Soto Zen Buddhist monastery located in Oregon that might be a good alternative.
It may even work out better this way because they offer a 6-week residency program in the summer where I can figure out whether this is something to do more short-term or long-term, depending on how the experience unfolds. While there is still much to learn, this would be far less of a language and cultural barrier, making it a bit easier for me to get the most out of the experience.
Also, I have a significant other that I’ve been with for over 8 years, and Soto Zen is far less restrictive, allowing their monks to become married while still maintaining ordainment. Not that there’s anything wrong with sects that require strict celibacy, but this particular denomination appeals significantly more to me on a personal level than Theravada (which is main Thai one). Likely because Soto Zen is more similar to the culture that I have been raised in comparison to Theravada, so there is a bit less of a culture shock (although it is still very different for me).
It feels like things are slowly clicking into place after much turmoil in my life, and for that I am very grateful.
Update: I was accepted into the 6-week summer residency at Great Vow (Oregon Soto Zen Buddhist monastery)! If anyone is curious about what the program is like, you can read more about it here: Residential Program - Zen Community of Oregon. The duration is July 8th - August 22nd, however there is a possibility of me staying for a longer time (depending on how the experience goes).
Hi Kyle. I did a somewhat similar 3 week meditation retreat some decades ago. Before I got married. Good luck with 6.
So unfortunately, the physical demands of the work schedule were too painful for me to keep up with (I have scoliosis). I pushed through it for the 5 days I was there, but I recognized that if I let pride get in the way to make it through the 6 weeks, I could end up causing myself long-term injury.
The priests and all members of the monastery community I interacted with were very supportive and compassionate, and were glad for me that I was able to recognize the priority to take care of myself over completing the retreat. I have zero regrets for attending the program, as I still felt that I managed to get a lot out of it, including the space to shape plans for my immediate future and fill me with determination. Time moves much slower within the low stimulation environment, so it felt like much longer!
As for the next chapter, I am hoping to start working a remote Python position to build up some finances and be able to sustain myself to move out of my home environment. Hopefully while still being connected to a local Buddhist location and/or remotely with Great Vow (the one I went to for retreat).