Deer Park Retreat 2004, Day 1

2/20/04 Deer Park
The drive was beautiful! Huge storm clouds covered the sky, reminding me of west Texas. I-5 goes right next to the sea.

Ocean in winter
Hungry waves eat up the shore
Sky and sea, all gray.

I drove past a navel base. I only got a glimpse of their signs as I went by at a speed certainly in violation of state law. But I saw the big “GO NAVY” and their unit’s motto:

Honor Courage Commitment

Not a bad philosophy for any undertaking.

And then…

“I have arrived”

…proclaimed the sign in large, friendly letters.

After a bit of confusion, I found my way to the registration office, which was closed for lunch. So I walked, took pictures, smiles, & breathed.

A nice lady showed me to the tearoom to wait. Then a nice man came to tell me the registration office was open. I registered, & the same man showed me to my room.

I was initially disappointed to learn that Thay [Thich Nhat Hanh] would be in Irvine on Sunday. Then my roommate Trish told me I could bus in with the sangha. She convinced me it would be fun, so I’m going.

Now I have a choice of total relaxation, dharma discussion, or hike. I think I’ll take the hike. 🙂

7:03 PM
I missed the hike due to getting lost. A friendly monk set me on the right path, but I was too late. So I went to a dharma discussion. Too new-agey for me. Too much drama, too much angst. I’ll try to find better uses for my time.

My roommates are all white, middle class. At least they aren’t all American.

Trish – SC
Christine – France
Kate – northern CA
Stephanie – WV
Carolyn – northern CA

Katy & Carolyn are in the same sangha at home, & neither knew the other was coming!

We had tea & cookies courtesy of Christine & Trish. Our neighbor Jackie joined us. Seven women sitting on the floor. 🙂

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