It’s time for me to begin pulling back from some aspects of Easing Awake. There’s no precipitating crisis. Just normal aging. My memory is not as sharp as it once was. When I work at a pace that was comfortable for me years ago, I tire more rapidly and recover more slowly. Several months ago a medical scan revealed some brain shrinkage. “Nothing abnormal for your age,” the doctor reassured me. I know the human brain is typically at its maximum around the age of 35. Still, to have empirical evidence of decreasing gray-matter is sobering.
I love our sangha and our members. I love discussing our meditation practices and our insights into enriched living. I don’t plan to disappear. I want to stay engaged.
However, I don’t enjoy preparing long dharma talks. (Besides, most of what I have to say about large topics is articulated well enough in the four books I’ve penned on meditation.) And I take less pleasure in working with the institutional machinations necessary to support our sangha community.
Outside the sangha, I have two young grandchildren who won’t be young for long. I want more time with them. Erika and I want to explore this new phase of our life together. And I want more time for my own practice. When I have quiet space, my spirits become quite spacious.
So I want to step back but not disappear. I want to be available for mentoring and support to all of you. I love sharing the dhammā. I want to support some of the teachers that are emerging amongst us. But I don’t think it’s wise for me to be the de facto CEO of our sangha or put as many hours into sangha administration.
Starting this summer, I’ll pull back from some areas of the sangha. I don’t know yet all the implications of this. I’ve been discussing it with the Board and I’d like to talk about it with all of you this coming Tuesday. I look forward to working together to envision the next phase of our journey together