Live Free or Die

I’ve spent the last week at Temple Forest Monastery, nestled in the hills and forests of southern New Hampshire. I rode and drove down with one of the monastics and another lay supporter from Ontario, enjoying coffee and conversation on the way here.

The monastery has only been in existence for a few years, but I’ve been a regular over the last year or so from being in Connecticut. It’s a cluster of farmhouse type buildings on over 240 acres of forests and fields. The sala, or main meditation area, has been converted from the living room of the former owners, and is a beautiful space with 200 year-old beams in the ceiling. The land was set up to hold a communal, intentional living arrangement, but none of the arrangements really took off. Now it’s made a great place for the roughly half dozen monastics who live there. It was wonderful to visit with old friends, and also to see both a visiting monk from Thailand and my teacher who came out to visit from Abhayagiri.

For the next two weeks I’ll be in Pennsylvania with the folks, trying to wrap things up before going overseas for the big journey. I’ll try to post again once I arrive in England.

Creating the sima (ordination platform) boundaries
A visit to Insight Meditation Society

Author: mettatsunami

In 2009 I was working full time in medicine, and living a life that was alienated from what I truly valued. While volunteering with a local hospice, I began to wonder: "What would I do differently if I had six months to live?". This began the impetus to change direction. While it has been a case of two steps forward, one step back in many ways, there has still been slow movement in the direction of a more authentic life. Since the pivotal decision to change direction, I have been a Buddhist nun, returned to lay life, changed Buddhist schools, returned to medicine part time, and then full time, quit again, traveled extensively, trained in yoga, spent time in several Buddhist monasteries, and am in the process of how to live according with Buddhist and yogic practice and values, and how to streamline this life into something worthwhile. In the Theravadan Buddhist practice, one of the daily reflections is "Has my practice born fruit with freedom or insight, so that at the end of my life, I need not feel ashamed when questioned by my spiritual companions?". That is my practice. My goal in this blog is to share the journey along the way.

10 thoughts on “Live Free or Die”

  1. Greeting Khemiya, I have just caught up on your journey…so enjoyable. Love the photos along with your words! Many blessings and good fortune for your journeys.

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  2. Great photos of Temple Forest Monastery! It was a joy to be with you during your time here. Please stay longer when your time for wandering runs its course.

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  3. Thank you for the great text and pictures, Khemiya. We’ll be there soon. We start on our own journey tomorrow. Much shorter than yours, of course, but I’m very excited. I’ll check in when we return in August.

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