A lottery was conducted for personal retreats during this time; applications were due by September 3, 2018. There is an extensive waiting list for this.
This month of practice will emphasize the teachings and practices of early Buddhism, especially those of the Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah. In addition, there will be a focus on the teachings of Master Hsuan Hua from the later Chinese Tradition. Throughout the month there will be an interweaving of both of these streams of practice, co-informing each other and presenting an integrated whole.
The first half of the retreat will focus on cultivating embodied samadhi – calming and unifying the mind/heart/body energies. This leads into the wisdom practices – vipassana – and an exploration of the relationship between calm and insight as foundations for realization of the deathless Dharma.
The second half of the month will emphasize emptiness and compassion, emerging from and supported by the first part of the retreat. There will be an exploration of the Bodhisattva Way through the cultivation of the Kuan Yin dharmas. The Bodhisattva heart balances “letting go” practices with “picking up” a skillful and compassionate relationship to the world. The archetype of compassionate wisdom in later Buddhism is Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, the One Who Listens to the Sounds of the World at Ease.
Every morning there will be a bowing, sitting and chanting session.
The practice of chanting, mantras and ceremony is an area of Buddhist practice which is often challenging for Westerners, and therefore sometimes dismissed or overlooked. While we encourage each retreatant to find a relationship with the teachings and practices in a way that honors their own process, we request that these practices are engaged with as fully as possible as part of the overall commitment entering this month-long retreat.
A minimum stay for the full month of October is required.