Grand Teton / Impressions of Seminary

Trip Start Mar 26, 2006
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Trip End Oct 20, 2006


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Flag of United States  , Montana
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

We enjoyed a long hike past Inspiration Point yesterday through Cascade Canyon, a glacial valley tucked between towering craggy peaks. The river in the canyon valley was flush with runoff from the alpine snow pack and wildflowers - purple asters, bright pink paintbrush, white yarrow - dappled the hillsides. I made a valiant effort to keep the experience idyllic in my mind, but the swarms of black flies and the tightness of my new hiking boots were enough to get me irritated. After 12 miles I was ready for the boat ride across Jenny Lake and back to the car.

We drove directly to Jackson Lake for another long dip in the mountain waters. The majestic scenery of the Tetons towering 6,000 feet above the lake is impossibly beautiful. I kept turning around in the water to just dogpaddle while I took it all in. the many kids nearby were having a blast in the lake. This is a spot to keep in mind if Todd and I ever have a young one of our own.

No more bear attacks last night, though my mom made sure to remind me today that Glacier National Park, our next destination, is renowned for its bears. Thanks, mom!

Before the experience of Sutrayana Seminary becomes too distant of a memory, I wanted to jot down a few impressions. For anyone not familiar with Shambhala Sutrayana Seminary, it's a month long meditation and Buddhist dharma study program - you can check out Shambhala at http://www.shambhala.org. It was incredible to be completely immersed in study for a month, meditating for hours each day, watching waves of thought and emotion pass by, and spending time with all of the amazing people I met. Writing about this experience feels really raw and exposing, so I think I'm going to keep this on the short side. It was a month of discovering all the ways that "Corey" tries to keep himself together, the ways I try to keep myself protected and guarded from being open and vulnerable. It was a month of watching myself make "mistakes" with people I was spending 24 hours a day with, discovering how and why those happen, and it gave me some confidence to relax when they do. Spending the month watching my arrogance, anger, sadness, laziness, desire, and pride made me realize that all of those are opportunities for recognizing the vast, completely open potential that's always there when I just let go and get out of my own way. And when I stopped being so hard on myself, I started to recognize that everyone else around me was working with the same fears and frustrations. So, overall it was a pretty incredible month, I fell in love with everyone that was there, and being back in the "real world" is an eye-opener. Fortunately, traveling feels like an extension of what we were doing at seminary - just being in the moment as much as possible - so I feel a bit like a kid in a candy shop right now, noticing the tastes, sights, sounds, and perceptions of the world as Todd and I pass through it.

Enough for now. I'm missing you all and wishing you were here with us!

Corey
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