Life on Long'ying
The island is called Long'ying ö-ché - the vast dimension of expansive clear light - named by my teachers, Mé-sèl Gyalmo and Bar-ché Dorje. Quite a name, but amazingly true. The island has some wonderful qualities that support my practice. Maybe it is just me, as I have the possibility of spending much time on the island during the summer months, or maybe it is the atmosphere of the place itself, or possibly both.
There is a yurt to shelter in if the weather becomes inclement. This summer, when my grandson was visiting me on the island, there was a huge storm (nothing like the normal Finnish wind). It was so strong it swept the yurt some distance along the ground making me realise that I needed to secure the structure more tightly. The experience of sleeping with my five-year-old grandson in a yurt with winds up to more than 70 km/h was quite remarkable. The sounds around us were definitely not peaceful. It was a timely reminder of the elemental power of air.
To practice in nature with the natural elements is a fabulous opportunity to really understand the elemental language of life. This is one aspect of the practices of Drala. This is a teaching we would like to introduce to anyone who has an interest in practicing with the sparkling expressive vitality of nature. It all starts to make more sense when the elements are playing out around you and there is not much you can do about it. It feels natural to practice meditation and yogic practices in such an environment.
Daily life on the island is quite basic. Drinking water needs to be brought with you and water for washing comes from the sky or the sea. There is an outdoor toilet, as yet without walls. There is a shelterless fire place made of stones.
Sometimes the weather is really calm and it is amazing to see the mirror-like surface of the sea. Everything is reflected on its surface and the beauty of life is right there before you. These photos show the southwest part of the island.
The island is long, from south to north, really narrow at the most northerly end and becoming a little wider at the southern end. When I hang my hammock in the middle of the island I can see the sun setting and rising from the same place.
I have an increasing number of visitors coming to the island. It is great fun to pick up friends and family from the harbour with my wooden boat. There is no landing area on the island and the boat is moored a little way from the shore.
When I leave the island to pick up people, first I need to untie the rope, walk into the sea and then climb up the boat using a rope ladder. The engine is already running when I pull up the anchor, which is quite heavy. If the wind is strong and blowing from behind I need to get onboard quickly so that the boat does not hit the shore. It is great fun. This year I found another mooring place on the other side of the island and now I can choose which side to leave the boat.
I am happy when people come to my island because I can share with them the wonder of life in this beautiful place.