Reflections on the Trust Summer School 2010
By Tom Dolan
As I arrive back home to Barcelona, the quiet of the Summer School begins to fade. So I wanted to get down a few ideas about our time together, before they disappear amidst the hurry and flurry of normal life again. It had been my second year at the Summer School, and of course it was so nice to see everyone again. We followed more or less the same format as last year. A wonderful recording of Phiroz, followed by the interesting talks and comments by the group. A quiet time just before the recording added a great deal to the relaxation of the mind, so much needed when trying to get a glimpse of Phiroz’s meaning and pointers.
I’m not really sure if there is a ‘goal’ to these yearly meetings, at least not in the sense we normally use that word in everyday life. I have a lot of goals for the week, month and year. But as far as ‘spiritual practice’ is concerned, maybe having a goal is the fly in the ointment. Goal always implies a doer and also the idea of time and progress. All necessary if we are heading to the market, planning a trip or learning a language.
But the Transcendent Mystery, to which Phiroz spends such great care in his descriptions and stories, seems to stand outside (if we can use outside as opposed to inside since they denote duality and separation) any ideas of time, space and causation. Maybe our gatherings are simply a way to pay attention to where we are and what we are doing, moment to moment. Teatime, washing up, simple laughter and the ending of the day, as the sun passes over the fields and disappears one more time. In all of these ‘moments’, where is a goal or a sense of progress?
It seems to be so difficult sometimes, to ‘awaken’, ever so briefly, to the great understandings of Phiroz and those of so many other wonderful teachers and guides. I do believe however that the quiet time we find in our day, irrespective of goals, is one of the keys to keeping this wonderful teaching alive and a living legacy. It has been a great pleasure to spend time with all the wonderful people from the Summer School and I hope to see you all again. Take good care of yourselves.
Tom Dolan speaks from the heart in the above article. It is obvious he listened with attentiveness and was ‘awake’ as he embraced the ‘Mystery’. Always a delight to share his presence.
‘Kingfisher’, 29th November 2010