Sabbatical Announcement (November 25, 2017)
Starting in the new year, Culadasa will be going on sabbatical to focus on his health and on writing his next book. While he will continue to meet with his students in the ongoing Teacher Training program, he intends to cut back significantly on other commitments.
Meditators coming on personal retreat at Cochise Stronghold can still expect to meet periodically with Culadasa, but should be aware that he will not always be onsite. At certain times, Culadasa will be staying in Tucson where the lower altitude is easier on his lungs and where he can go to medical appointments.
When Culadasa is not onsite, meditators heading to Cochise Stronghold will be able to meet with Culadasa in Tucson before and after their retreats and will have the option of periodically checking in with him via video conferencing.
In the new year there will be a Resident Yogi Program to ensure that an experienced teacher trained by Culadasa will be onsite at all times to meet with meditators and provide support.
Culadasa is excited to see the vision of Dharma Treasure Sangha being carried forward by a new generation of teachers rigorously trained in teaching the methods laid out in The Mind Illuminated.
Health Update, October 21, 2017
At the end of August, it was discovered that Culadasa had a solitary metastasis of lung cancer, located on one of his ribs. He was glad to immediately have the opportunity to consult with Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. This was a wonderful opportunity, especially as he was already going to the nearby Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Dana Farber accepted him into a clinical trial of radio-surgery, but after additional scans it was discovered that the cancer had multiple metastases and he was thus ineligible for the trial. Initially, this seemed like terrible news, but the oncologists alerted Culadasa to an emerging new specialized therapy targeted for a particular mutation.This medical breakthrough drug, Tagrisso, was only just approved on October 8th for first-line use in the US, and Culadasa began treatment with it on October 13th. Thus far there have been no side effects other than fatigue, which is excellent news.
While a complete cure is unlikely, his doctors have told him that he could live for many years with this new treatment, and by then, there may even be more powerful treatments available.
In addition to this targeted drug, Culadasa is also employing many holistic treatments, including far infrared sauna, ozone treatments, ketogenic diet, detoxification protocols, and leading edge herbal formulations for cancer. And, of course, increased time for rest and recuperation.
Culadasa and Nancy are using their highest wisdom as these treatments proceed. They are re-evaluating priorities, with Teacher Training high on the list, so that Culadasa can continue to share his vast knowledge and experience with those invested in helping others achieve their goals. He finds teaching and sharing knowledge to be nourishing and healing.
What can we do to help? Although it is tempting we shouldn’t bombard the Yates with information about treatments and the like. They have done excellent research and are doing everything possible to ensure that Culadasa will stay with us for many years. What each of us can do, however, is focus on our practice, study, and teaching. All of Culadasa’s students are his emissaries of wisdom in the world, and the more we work to fulfill that role, the more happiness and healing we can bring, not only to the Yates, but to everyone else as well. And, of course, in this probabilistic universe, positive thoughts and prayers do help. Please dedicate your endeavors to Culadasa’s ability to heal and to continue to share his wisdom with all of us.
We thank all of you for your practice, and prayers. You are a beautiful community of practitioners and teachers.
With love and joy,
In October, 2015 Culadasa was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. Unfortunately his sister died of the identical lung cancer the same month and his surviving sister received the exact same lung cancer diagnosis. The book was also released in October, 2015 with enormously positive response, but needless to say our small organization was overwhelmed.
This January, 2016 Culadasa’s father, who lived with us, also died. Even though it was a beautiful death, it was still a lot to deal with in a short period of time.
The cancer treatments of radiation, chemotherapy and thoracotomy were supplemented with much love and good will and lots of preventative and alternative measures. Needless to say, it was still an extremely intense and difficult time.
All the follow up tests for the cancer have showed excellent response and we have high hopes for a complete recovery. Culadasa still occasionally has difficulty breathing (possibly a side effect of the radiation or chemo therapies) but he is determined to stick around.
We very much appreciate your dedication and support of him through this journey. While there are presently no regularly scheduled teachings, recent travels to the east coast to teach were a “watershed event” for his return to teaching. Teaching Dharma truly does invigorate him.
Also, on a very positive note – many of you know that Culadasa battled with neurological lyme disease for ~8 years, which in many ways led to his determination to pass along his wisdom. In July, 2016 the last test for lyme was negative!
In Joy & Service, Nancy Yates