controlling space, I end up in the prison of "being right" vs. the gentle space of being open hearted. Then the experience of "being right" feels like a lonely, isolated closed space.
Upon arrival in Vietnam, all of this changed. Linh, our loving guide, assured me that she would check with the kitchens to guarantee that the food would be safe for me. Michael, one of our practice leaders, was reassuring that we were all in this together. My fears of being alone and isolated faded.
Then, the meals began to arrive. Beautiful, delicious meals, elaborately designed, and perfectly balanced were presented to us day after day. Rarely, do the Vietnamese cook with dairy and also rarely with wheat. Rice is their staple grain. Linh, in her earnestness to please each one of us, was in constant Communication with the kitchen and the dining room, while at our retreat places of lodging and in public restaurants. Trish, our Dharma teacher, was conscientious about providing soy, almond, and coconut milks for our delicious Vietnamese coffee.
This retreat was another opportunity for me to open my heart with trust. I never once needed my Vietnamese note. We were fed with the finest of organic foods, while my body, heart and soul were fed with friendship, Sangha, and Thay's deep teachings.
Stillwater, Minnesota Sangha, USA