It's been a week already since I left traveling sangha from India pilgrimage. Sixteen brother and sisters with whom I shared living quarters and travels during a total of sixteen days. Sitting under trees, eating rich Indian food, discussing the teachings, riding the bus, walking around stupas, having pee fests in lentil fields, exchanging medicines, shopping for Buddha souvenirs, visiting temples, riding ricksaws, . . . together.
Many happy moments, and also some struggles from the inevitable frictions of separate egos interacting. Conflicting wants and needs, differing points of views, personalities with various degrees of skillfulness, shadows in full display, gave us all ample matter for practice. I had left the imperfect community of my family for this new, just as fallible assembly of brothers and sisters.
Mindfulness, and also remembering Gil's advice, that "You may not like them, but you ought to love them", helped me patch a few rough patches, in the privacy of my heart. Now back home, it is more of the same. Learning to compose, moment to moment, with the ebbs and flows of communal life. Being grateful for the pleasure of happy times, and the learning from difficult ones.