Review of 2018 Goals

I’m very, very late this year. It’s already nearly the end of 2019. My excuse is I was doing one of my 2018 goals – begin a 6 (to 12) month shamatha retreat. I completed that in June of this year. Then when I came out of retreat I had zero interest in writing about goals. Anyway, I started these goal setting reviews in 2016 and would really like to continue for years to come.

This retreat was between April and May 2018 and it was the longest retreat I’d done with Lama Alan. I wanted to go specifically because I knew these were the only retreats where Lama Alan offered 1on1 interviews. Bubbling within me were aspirations to really set out on this path within the Dudjom lineage and achieving shamatha was a definite prerequisite. I wanted to form at least a bit of a personal connection before I went on a much longer retreat.

After these eight weeks I also stayed on at ILTK, the retreat center it was held at, for another month serving as a volunteer.

The first half of 2018 I was house sitting at Nisha (now Anjasi) and Anil’s home in Earlsfield for several months. They’ve since sold their house and moved to India permanently to live at Isha Yoga Center, studying under Sadhguru. These few months of house sitting I was meant to be in semi-retreat mode, and for the most part I was, but I was also totally caught up in the price of cryptocurrencies as they peaked around Christmas time to early January, and then began their plummet back down to Earth, eventually losing up to 95% of their value from the peak.

Then when I came back to the UK around mid-June I was again hopping around, visiting friends, house/cat sitting, hitch hiking, wild camping and then a one week teaching on the Seven Point Mind Training in Lampeter.

I didn’t do much writing in 2018. Now in 2019 I’ve still not done much writing. I’ve mainly meditated a lot. I keep feeling the call to write though. I can see how valuable and useful I find it for clarifying and integrating learnings (and unlearnings). I started a daily blogging challenge a few days ago so maybe before 2019 ends I’ll have done a lot more writing.

I think I actually succeeded in this. I haven’t done a proper count yet but it’s pretty close. Actually when I came back from my six month retreat and went back to stay with my family for a few weeks as I returned to the UK even my cupboard from my old room had disappeared!

I feel very light with so few possessions. It makes this constant hopping here and there very easy. Although I have at times sometimes got a bit scared. Part of this goal was inspired by Suvajra gifting me this collection of stories of Patrul Rinpoche’s life called The Enlightened Vagabond. I don’t think wandering around aimlessly like that is something I have the inner ground to do yet. Still lots of letting go and trust to work on.

I started my six month retreat at the end of November 2018. I completed it at the end of May 2019. I’ve yet to share any reflections on this time away, I feel like I’m still landing. I did this in a small village in Burgos, Spain. Big thank you to Joserra, Miki and Irene for all they did to support this inner journey. And of course the many others part of the Spanish Awakin’ community who helped me find things like a gas heater, hot water bottles, blankets and stove.


I didn’t set any goals in 2019. Given it’s nearly November 2019 now, I don’t think there’s a point in setting 2019 goals, so I’ll just skip to 2020.

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