it’s been 7 days since i’ve entered my first hard core mantra/visualization retreat at pema osel ling. for the most part, it is a bit over my head and in my typical style, i created my own schedule and work the format of the retreat as much as i can handle. in hindsight, the learning experience is i should take a few shorter mantra style retreats here and next time, do a shorter duration of the drupchen retreat. still, at least uma is having a wonderful time and it’s really nice to be around other parents that have a pretty strong practice. undoubtedly, i know from this experience that i want to continue to deepen the meditation practice as i complete my first year of consistent daily mediation practice. what that deepening on a regular basis is not clear except the obvious of more time on a daily basis to the practice. potentially, next year it will continue to be about consistently and total hours meditate through the next year. anyway, i going to try to make this summer retreat a tradition with uma. meanwhile, i hope the romantic seeds i planted here grow but i have been better at realizing the shortcomings of my romantic patterns. the free spirited artist with a spiritual under current. I just haven’t found a way for me to reconcile that free spirit with my own rigid desire for a ‘equal’ partnership. in some regard, there is a strong desire to let go of that romantic attachment naturally and just focus on service but even in that framework, i am struggling with finding my strength/time for the service aspect. without growing the spiritual/service framework, the romantic habits will continue to haunt me.