May 5th 2020

Over the last few weeks I’ve been very occupied with Guhyaloka business – financial matters and planning because of the lock-down; preparation for our annual Council Meeting; correspondence with the three Preceptor’s College members who are giving direct support to the development of Guhyaloka; and some correspondence with Keturaja about an outstanding loan – and I continue to spend one day a week at Guhyaloka attending the weekly business meeting and leading some study in the evening. But I am still engaged with my meditation – although it consists mainly of deflecting trains of distracting thoughts – and enjoying the simple life in the mountains.

In particular I’m building quite a strong relationship with the trees and plants and animals. I’m attached to the almond trees which are threatened with destruction if the local authorities suspect them of having a particular bacterial infection (a neighbour’s trees have already been uprooted). I watch the nesperio tree as the fruits ripen, so as to get them before Mrs Rat or Mr Pinemartin and note with interest the development of the lovely sweet yellow plums, and the persimmons on a tree we thought had died; but I wonder why there are no figs this year. I worry that the herd of thirty or so goats will destroy the olive trees, when they break branches as they lean on them to reach the leaves; and on several occasions I’ve had to get up in the middle of the night to shoo them away from the flowers on the terrace in front of the house. I was happy with Mrs Rat running about in the wood store until I saw that she had young ones; and, as the attached photo shows, Mr Pinemartin expressed his disdain of oranges (he normally likes fruit) when I accidentally left one outside overnight. A few days ago a family of wild pigs trotted by with two piglets no bigger cats. And, Puigcampana, the big mountain, looks down benignly on us all.

I am presently very much preoccupied with Guhyaloka which is in dire need of some leadership from a Chairman who lives in the community. I have of course been thinking that perhaps I should move over there and put my plans for Uttaraloka aside for the foreseeable future. But you’ll be aware that this is not the path that I presently feel inspired to follow.

Vajrayogini is a terrifyingly jealous mistress, she insists that this time I stay with her – and if I don’t she’ll cut me up into little pieces, boil me in a skull cup, and drink my blood. And I actually believe her. A few nights ago I had a dream in which I was driving towards a sort of heavenly city. The road got more and more rough and deserted, and eventually there was a section in which the tarmac had been undermined by some sort of flood. But, I just drove over it and descended on a steep incline over bare rock towards a wide river in a valley. It was like the Flathead in Montana – a river that I associate with Vajrayogini (as Mandarava). I was uncertain about going down to the river because the way forward was not clear and seemed dangerous, so I went back to the undermined section of the road around which there was a gathering of various police, government officials, and so on. So, I stand, as so often, between duty and freedom – but I increasingly think and feel that She who must be obeyed, must be obeyed.

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