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 the former Rev. Berthold Olson

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Lise
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PostSubject: the former Rev. Berthold Olson   Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:25 pm

Although his picture is still on the Shasta Abbey website, I understand that Berthold Olson has recently returned to lay life after 20+ years as a monk there.

I'm sure many of you wish him well, as I do, as he takes this next step in his training.

It would be nice if the Abbey can find a way to publicly acknowledge his departure, possibly in their "News" section. He gave a lot of years to them and left in good standing, of his own volition - surely that is worth a mention.
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: the former Rev. Berthold Olson   Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:10 pm

Reverend Berthold Olson is mentioned on the Shasta web site for Dharma talks under the sub heading of "Former teachers" but it only says he returned to laylife Feb. 2013.
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PostSubject: Re: the former Rev. Berthold Olson   Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:30 pm

thanks Howard - I missed that.

I hope the former R. Berthold might pop in here at some point and say hello - it would be great to hear from him.
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PostSubject: Re: the former Rev. Berthold Olson   Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:25 pm

I agree.

IMO, Rev Berthold as a layman & as a monk, had a level of objectivity that stood him apart from many others in the Shasta fold. I hope the easy humor he brought to so many around him, still follows him today.
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PostSubject: Re: the former Rev. Berthold Olson   Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:55 am

My first thought: Hallelujah, Berthold has seen the light.
My second thought: OMG, I remember how difficult this transition is. What bit of knowldge can I pass on to him to ease his way.
Perhaps we can devote some space here to offer him some practical advice from our own experience -- our successes, our mistakes -- and maybe he'll see it and know he is not aone.
Berthold, you have friends here.
~mokuan
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PostSubject: Re: the former Rev. Berthold Olson   Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:17 am

On the Shasta Abbey website, this was part of the "News" announcement dated 27 Feb:


"... We are sorry to tell you that after much reflection, Rev. Berthold
Olson returned to lay life on Sunday, February 24. He was a monk with
us for 22 years and had been practicing in this tradition since 1976.
We are grateful for his many years of monastic training,
his generous teaching and his many offerings to the monastic and lay
Sangha, and we wish him well as he takes this next step in his training.
He intends to visit the Abbey from time to time, and we will always be
glad to see him. ..."

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PostSubject: Re: the former Rev. Berthold Olson   Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:24 am

mokuan wrote:
My first thought: Hallelujah, Berthold has seen the light.
My second thought: OMG, I remember how difficult this transition is. What bit of knowldge can I pass on to him to ease his way.

Perhaps we can devote some space here to offer him some practical advice from our own experience -- our successes, our mistakes -- and maybe he'll see it and know he is not alone.

Unlike myself (when I was leaving) Berthold was able to make the choice openly and, remarkably, the community was able to accept it instead of attacking him. I imagine it made the leaving a lot less traumatic. Still it couldn't have been easy after so many years. Hopefully he will find his footing quickly. I believe he does know that he has many supporters here.
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PostSubject: Re: the former Rev. Berthold Olson   Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:56 pm

Berthold and I spoke extensively both before and after his decision. I believe that he considered it carefully, and without any sense of rush. I am very impressed by the care he took in making his departure, and RM Meian's support in his doing so. With her permission, he was able to meet, and speak openly about his reasons for leaving, with members of a local meditation group, as well as the Abbey's congregation. And, he was allowed to do so without the presence of other monks. Quite a change from the old days!

He has also received considerable support from the lay sangha in the form of housing (from one of our OBCC members), and an automobile. He has a Master's degree in Social Work, and seems confident in finding employment in a field that he (clearly) enjoys.

I think he is doing well, and that the Order is benefiting from the transformation of old patterns.
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PostSubject: Re: the former Rev. Berthold Olson   Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:40 pm

Kozan wrote:
he was able to meet, and speak openly about his reasons for leaving, with members of a local meditation group, as well as the Abbey's congregation. And, he was allowed to do so without the presence of other monks. Quite a change from the old days!

He has also received considerable support from the lay sangha in the form of housing (from one of our OBCC members), and an automobile. He has a Master's degree in Social Work, and seems confident in finding employment in a field that he (clearly) enjoys.

I think he is doing well, and that the Order is benefiting from the transformation of old patterns.

Kozan, I am so happy to hear about this way of making that decision and that transition. I am glad he is doing well, and hopeful he will be continue to be supported as he makes it. After 20 years it cannot be an easy one. I found his presence and communications in our dialogue sessions calm and settling. He made a good choice in seeking you as a companion in this process.
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PostSubject: Re: the former Rev. Berthold Olson   Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:23 pm

Berthold was an excellent teacher and monastic, from what (little) I saw. I wish him happiness.
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