Nearly ten years ago my partner, myself, and a group of students and other supporters founded Clear Sky, our wonderful retreat center in beautiful southeastern British Columbia. We wanted a place to do longer meditation retreats, so we bought property where we could do that. Easy, right?
You can imagine how I felt when I realized that we now had a business to run. Wha–––t? I had experience as a self-employed professional, but none running an organization or larger business. Incredibly, most of the people involved had no more experience than I did.
And you may not be surprised to hear that I haven’t done much formal meditation during the last nine+ years. Instead I’ve been focusing on maintaining a good state amidst astonishingly steep learning curves and a long series of baptisms by fire. Undertaken consciously, it’s a different kind of meditation practice.
And it’s time. Next month I’ll do my first month-long solitary retreat ever, in meditation cabins we built just for this purpose. A month away from “the business” of our teaching, our retreat center, and this consulting business. A month spent doing what we set out to do about a decade ago. Happy dance.
And that’s what the last nine+ years have been about: setting up the systems, developing the teams, teamwork and communication skills, and cultivating the trust in one another so that we can provide for one another’s needs in order to keep things going in excellent ways. And cultivating the frame of mind that will allow me to focus on work of a different nature, without being overly concern about how everything and everyone are faring without me.
It reminds me of my early adventures in scuba diving: standing on the back of the boat, looking into those dark waters, with a curious mix of excitement and terror.