Family Camp 2012

The Seattle Shambhala Center held its first Family Camp at the beautiful Windhorse Retreat Center on Whidbey Island over a sunny weekend in August. Initially, it took a little time for us to relax into “camp time” and each other, but once we did, there was lots of room, lots of time and everything worked out just fine. The young mediators enjoyed reciting the meditation instructions, which they did exactly after hearing them once.  Parents wanted more time for their own practice, and were free to take it, knowing their children were safe and happily engaged. Everyone’s senses were honed and we were able to see and learn from the animals, the elements, and each other.  At one point, the neighbor’s goats escaped their pen! But they didn’t get far before one of the big campers blocked their way, a little camper sounded an alert, and still others came to help herd the goats safely home.

In the evening we toasted marshmallows, sang, danced, and heard a story about Trungpa Rinpoche.  Bright starry skies shone over our tents.  On the last day, we shared a big tasty lunch, said goodbye with a doha, and sang the Shambhala Anthem.  A raven flew over calling out as the last of us left, and a fawn stepped from behind the gate.  We hope these pictures give you some idea of what it was like to be at camp, together in a green world, under a blue sky, with the Puget Sound within walking distance, and the Olympic Mountains not far away.  Plans are in the works for next years’ gathering at the end of July.

With thanks to the Sakyong, and to Matthew and Tommy, and to the deer, the owl, the swallows, the raven, and the red dragonfly.

For a slideshow – click on an image below

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Family Camp Constructs

Here is a portfolio of pictures showing constructs made from found objects by some of the Family Camp participants. The object was to walk about with our newly awakened senses and select found objects for a serendipitous arrangement illustrating the elements of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water. This was great fun for children and adults alike, and contributed to our love and understanding of Sacred World.

For a slideshow – click on an image below

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