I wanted to post this here, because I think it's important for people to see positive experiences as well.
I can't tell you how many times, I've had something really intense come up in training, and the Monks at Shasta have been there for me.
Specifically, at 3 o clock in the morning, when I called on the emergency line, because I was having a spiritual crisis.
Not only were the monks, (and there have been at least a half a dozen who have done this on multiple occasions) very kind, and understanding, but they were also downright helpful, and offered practical advice from their own experience.
To them, I would say, thank you.
It really helped.
I don't know any other Zen Center you can call at 2 in the morning when you are having a spiritual crisis, or other life emergency, and they will offer themselves out of bed to talk with you and do so.
They're like a spiritual volunteer fire department.
It's quite wonderful.
I can't express enough gratitude for the patience and kindness people have shown me, often at the most inconvenient hours and times for them.
No doubt there has been many a time when a monk did not get enough sleep because of me, and they hauled themselves off to some big ceremony the next day because they stayed up half the night helping me through a crisis.
Not only do I tend to have a lot of spiritual activity at night, but also my spouse and I were hit very hard by the Economy, and they were there for me, and us in any way that they could be.
I am so very grateful to them.