Final Thoughts from Sue

Hello Everyone,

This will be my last blog as the Acting Director of Windhorse. I would like to be able to give you all a definitive answer to the future of the retreat center but alas, I cannot; it’s just how it is. There is still much undetermined as I write this, and it will not be decided until I have retired from my position. This is neither good nor bad, happy or sad-it’s simply what is. I’ve been preparing for this change for over a year now; it’s been joyful and painful, stressful and relaxed, claustrophobic and spacious, but above all it has strengthened my determination to understand and experience the nature of my own mind.

The Buddha taught that our minds create everything. There is the obscured or conditioned mind and then there is the mind that is as fathomless as space. The conditioned mind is what causes us suffering and the vast (primordial) mind is what leads to unconditional joy and equanimity, and we are constantly vacillating between the two. The work and effort that was required to run the retreat center was truly a gift….sort of a “practical joke” type of gift in the sense that you don’t know whether to laugh, cry or be kind of pissed off at receiving it! I say this with humor. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience this type of work. It forced me to put other people’s needs above my own. I wasn’t always able to do this-put others before myself…and that’s when confusion and suffering occurred.

There is of course a trap we can all fall into with this kind of work, and that trap is when we go too far and don’t nurture ourselves…rationalizing that we are “taking care” of others. This creates suffering for everyone involved because it is most likely based on confusion. We are given signs from the phenomenal world when this type of activity arises, they are probably a little different for everyone but for me they are: becoming too tight, too fixated and controlling, being without humor, irritation and anger toward others (blaming), doubt and hesitation (ie. not being able to make a decision), and lack of mindful speech. What is underlying these habits of mind and body that I engage in is a lack of gentleness and wisdom. Voila! These conditioned actions remind me to come back to the path I’m already on-the path of wisdom and skillful means (prajna and upaya to use the Buddhist terminology). This is the vacillation between our conditioned mind and our unconditioned primordial mind. We all do it so we can relax our judgements about how horrible we are and just get back in the saddle, so to speak. Apologizing is also not a bad idea if it’s genuine.

I think this is it. I don’t have much else to say. The Windhorse website homepage will be updated as soon as there is more clarity on what is to become of the building. A definite point of contact after February 5thwill be Alan Anderson. Al owns the building and was one of the original co-directors during its inception as a retreat center back in 2001. You may contact him should you like to book it for a personal or group retreat or getaway.  Al’s contact info: [email protected]

Finally, I have always wanted to find a reason to put a link in one of my blogs to one of my favorite songs…it never seemed to arise, although it would have been appropriate on a number of occasions. This song is on the album, That’s the Way of the World by Earth, Wind And Fire. My brother had the album when I was a little girl. It’s a great song with a lovely message! Enjoy!






2 thoughts on “Final Thoughts from Sue

  1. Hello Sue,
    I came across your website while looking for retreats in the WI area. We’ll be moving back to WI after almost 38 years in NC.
    I don’t know you however, from your letter above, I wish you and the center were still there and active. I understand totally about self care. So in the meantime, thank you for all you’ve done. May peace and happiness be your constant companions now and forever.

    • Hi Cindy,
      Thank you for the kind words and understanding! I hope you are enjoying your time back in Wisconsin 🙂 it’s such a beautiful state.

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