I’ve not long returned from the three month ordination retreat in the Spanish mountains living with17 other women (13 of which were being ordained). It is an interesting experiencing returning from three months away. Paradoxically on the one hand it feels a bit dream like ( I wonder if I really was away on retreat!) and on the other I feel able to tap into a certain sort of stillness and space that I had at Akashavana,, like it’s just under my skin.
It’s helpful hearing my new name, it helps me to connect to the retreat and it also encourages me to be the best human being I can. I absolutely love the name Bodhimala though it is a fascinating process getting used to introducing myself as something other than Sooz. When I first went back to work I remember speaking to a new rag company on the phone and when she asked me my name, I paused (not knowing how to respond), and then said Susie! A couple of months down the line and I would have said my name is Bodhimala. Each day that passes I feel like I am growing into myself as Bodhimala.
It does feel different being in the order though it’s hard for me to describe how or why that is. I’m just working it out myself, so watch this space!
If I was to say anything about what I’ve learnt from the ordination process I would say ‘don’t rush it’ enjoy it and be yourself. I didn’t always find it an easy process but it was always of value. Of course the unfolding continues after ordination (at least it is for me) there is certainly no settling down in the spiritual life!
Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke – Letters to a young poet
Have patience with everything
unresolved in your heart and try
to love the question themselves
as if they were locked rooms
or books written in a very foreign language.
Don’t search for the answers,
which could not be given you now,
because you would not be able
to live them. And the point is, to
live everything. Live the questions now.
Perhaps, then, far in the future, you will gradually, without even
noticing it, live your way into the