From December 13th to the 16th Lama Rod and Lama Justin and 21 participants gathered at the Thomasville Buddhist Center in Thomasville, NC for a 4 day Chod retreat. The retreat was a powerful way to explore working with racism, whiteness, patriarchy, identity and the ghosts (many still very much present) of the the way racism still haunts not just the South, but American culture in general. Engaging in the practice of chod, Medicine Buddha and various contemplation practices including visiting a local cemetery, practice went deep.
A special thanks to Bushi and Christine and their family for hosting us at Thomasville Buddhist Center, and gratitude for Repa Trinley (Harrison Holmes) for serving as chant master and offering a mentor role to fellow retreatants, and to Eric Busse for his work as organizer and smoother-of-rough-edges around a retreat laden with a tremendous amount of stirred energy and emotion. A heartfelt thanks also goes out to Stephanie Barnes, who played an instrumental role in helping to ready the space.
This inaugural retreat was an appropriate way to launch Bhumisparsha. It was clear that a new kind of sangha was being co-created - aspects of the retreat felt as if new ground was being touched upon. We look forward to the way the seeds of clear intention planted during this retreat will bear fruit.