Saturday, April 18, 2015

DIARY 130 ~ Closure comes in full circles

Here I am at the end of my penultimate week of working at Windhorse:evolution. The last four months have been really hard work, not just physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. Just trying to stay engaged has become a regular and very real practice. Working whilst working on letting go as I found myself grieving for what was not as yet lost. My mood has fluctuated dramatically from positivity and optimism to despair and sadness and played on all the tones inbetween.

I started working for Windhorse in July 1997 after a difficult year of winding up my own business, On that day in the Summer of 97 as I finally closed the doors and handed back the keys on one chapter of my life, I left to start a completely new Buddhist life in Ipswich. There I joined my first Buddhist community and began working part-time in Evolution Ipswich. My spiritual life and my life working for Windhorse;evolution have been woven inextricably together. Now, some eighteen years later there's been a similarly difficult four months as Windhorse has been slowly brought to an end.  This particular intensely Buddhist context, bookended by the closure of two businesses.will reach its symbolic and literal state of closure for me on Friday 24th April 2015.

It's a bit premature to review or assess what seventeen years working for the largest, the one and only Buddhist Right Livelihood Gift-ware business has brought, apart from my being ordained through it. All I can say is I've grown up and matured personally and spiritually in this context. Even though I will miss it and the really lovely people I've worked with, it does feel the right time to move on to something different. I might never have left had circumstances not arrived that made it inevitable I would.

A couple of week ago I led a Closing Ritual that brought the whole business together for its spiritual conclusion. What I'd devised appeared to work well, and most folk were moved by and appreciative of it. It fit the bill, weighty, cathartic,healing and uplifting, everything I'd hoped it might be, it proved to be. As ever it was great to have it off my mind once the day arrived and it was all done. By the afternoon Rupadarsin was beginning preparations to take apart the Stupa he'd so lovingly made thirteen years ago. Once the Stupa was dismantled there was nothing much left bar a few stencilled lotuses, vajras and flames on the warehouse floor to suggest this was anything other than an ordinary warehouse. Things have definitely felt different since then. Windhorse feels more like a workaday office and warehouse space where something rather unique once used to take place,

People have left in phases, some in February, then the end of March, then this Friday, and the final few, including me, at the end of next week. Each time this exudus has held a certain poignancy and emotional tug, that has grown deeper with each repetition. Some of these people I've known for my entire time working for Windhorse, a few I've known from years before even that. I will obviously see some of these folk again, if only at the Buddhist Centre or on retreat, though my path undoubtedly will never cross with others ever again.

Today, the final bit of warehouse racking was put on a truck and taken away. The warehouse will soon be an empty shell once more. Nothing much will tangibly remain. The dust is settling over the warehouse floor and the smell of burning incense will soon be only vaguely sensed. A whole world has dissolved into air in a matter of weeks.

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