By Kelly Lindsey
It’s a beautiful sunny day in late July and I have just arrived at Drala Mountain Center for Family Camp, an annual retreat for families that I have been attending with my children for the past 20 years. Drala Mountain Center has been my spiritual home since I first set foot on this sacred land more than two decades ago. Each time I return and I glimpse the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya in the distance, my body softens. My heart opens. My breath deepens. I notice that as I exhale, a gentle sigh escapes my lips. It feels like I have been holding my breath for awhile. Living though a pandemic and bearing witness to the increasing amount of confusion and conflict in the world has at times felt like too much to bear. This is a place where I find refuge.
Taking a stroll, I find myself re-familiarizing with the surroundings that have been a part of so many summers. Each step revives memories of profound connections made here — with my inner self, with others, and with the land itself. I find my way to a cherished spot amidst a grove of Aspen trees. Observing the young saplings sprouting from the scorched earth, remnants of the Cameron Peak wildfire from a few summers back, instills a sense of hope in me. The golden mantled ground squirrels approach, a friendly gesture, and deer find solace in the shade of the kyudo (archery) structure. Their presence reinforces the notion of this being a sanctuary, a shared space of safety and breath for all beings. Each visit to DMC (Drala Mountain Center) unveils new favored locales, fresh connections, and the joy of forming new friendships. This consistent discovery and renewal imbue me with a hopeful outlook.
The days pass more slowly here and there is time to rest, to enjoy, to savor. I settle into a different, slower rhythm, my mind settles and life feels possible again. I remember what one of my meditation teachers, Flint Sparks often says: “Meditation doesn’t make life perfect, but it makes life possible.” After a week here, life feels possible again. I feel inspired and ready to return to the world with an open heart. Throughout the years, one of my life’s greatest joys has been the opportunity to share this special place with others. If you’re reading this, I’d love for you to join me, Brooke Binstock and Marissa Knox, for our fifth annual Quiet Mind, Open Heart Retreat July 23-28, 2023. Together, we will create a safe space where we can meditate, move, breathe, and just be together. It is our hope that you will reconnect with yourself and leave feeling hopeful, inspired, at ease, and ready to return to your world with an open heart.
About the Author
Kelly Lindsey is a mother, meditation teacher, and somatic psychotherapist.Kelly’s meditative journey began more than twenty years ago and has included many different styles of practice and paths of study. Having received formal instruction in different lineages of Tibetan Buddhism and Classical Indian Yoga, Kelly has found a wonderful integration of deep practice and study realized in the context of everyday life. All of the spiritual teachings she has received have culminated in one primary lesson: how to live in the world with an open heart.