Gratitude and Good Bye From Myoyu Haley Voekel

I have run in terror through the woods. The grounds have been watered with my tears. I have bolted from the Zendo, the Oryoki table, Closing Circle and Sunday lunch.

Not a runner but hoping to run forever. To move faster than thought. To outrun my tormented past and unknowable future.

I have sat in the Zendo wild with panic, a rolling boil in my chest. I have sat in the Zendo paralyzed by a grief that burned my heart and left me breathless.

As they have done for all of us, the Zendo and grounds have quietly held me through endless cycles of emotional melodramas.

Not limited to only darkness but Bliss too and spontaneous bursts of joy, like a bird’s song suddenly arising from stillness or the sky’s brilliant display as it drops into night.

In the midst of this, however I’ve presented my tangled web of emotional and spiritual confusion, Chozen, Hogen and Jogen never once turned away, never once said, “this is too much, you are too much.”

On bated breath I watched carefully for a cringe or a sigh, like a coiled spring or startled bird ready to lift her hollow bones into flight. Exhausted yet ever vigilant, my heart desperate to feel safe.

One foot grounded and one foot pointed towards the door.

Unwavering patience and boundless love is all that has been offered.

May my gratitude also be boundless.

For two years I have been held in a warm and tender embrace. By the teachers, this magical Sangha, the coyotes and trees and forest. Deep bows to all of you.

Great Vow, I am wildly in love with you and may it always be so.