Facing Death, Embracing Life (2017)
Boarding the boat
I slip off my shoes
Moon in the water
This retreat arose a few years ago from a deep wish to engage with the reality of dying, to meet the truth of impermanence in its most personal context. There were questions that naturally arose. How might I feel about parting from my body, my possessions, from those I love? Would I believe that I had made the most of the opportunities of my life? How would I be supported by my spiritual practice? These are primary areas of reflection for life here and now and ones which we can share together.
As we have shaped this retreat over several years, the team and the retreatants have come to see that fundamentally we are exploring the truths of spiritual death and spiritual re-birth and in ways that are personal and often deeply moving.
Amid the beauty of early autumn, we will explore our spiritual vision around physical death. We will be open to the truths of our impermanence and insubstantiality within a supportive context of meditation, reflection, some shared activity, poetry, and ritual and devotion. We will be in silence for about three and a half days. There will be personal time and space to sit, walk, contemplate nature or to be creative.
I find myself remembering Tagore’s lines: ‘I know I shall love death because I have loved life.’ Contemplating our own impermanence is challenging but can bring clarity, freedom and love. We are more truly with how things are. We see and appreciate all that we value in the joy, beauty and potential of life here and now: this very day, this very moment. We wish to live meaningful lives for ourselves and for the benefit of all beings. We face death and we embrace life. In the words of a previous retreatant:
‘As we heard about others’ losses and contemplated the universality of that experience, I felt a deeper sense of compassion and interconnectedness arise. At the same time, I experienced a growing lightness of being. All this led to a strong sense of gratitude for being in this body, in this place, in this time, amongst others teaching and practising the Dharma.’
I’m delighted to be joined on the team by Ratnavandana, who brings her long experience of meditation and her wise response to the big issues of our lives, by Khemasiddhi with her artistic skills and her feeling for the truth, and by Moksalila with her background of counselling and of being with the dying.
My life is mirrored in
A morning glory
Led by Samantabhadri, Ratnavandana, Khemasiddhi and Moksalila
Level: Triratna Regulars
Cost: £75 booking fee plus suggested donations (taken at the end of the retreat) £195 (unwaged/in receipt of benefits) or £315 (waged)
For more information on cost and the 'dana' system click here: http://www.taraloka.org.uk/calendar-bookings/cost
|Retreat date||Friday, 29th September 2017 17:00|
|Retreat End Date||Friday, 6th October 2017 11:00|
|Spaces available||Spaces Available|
|Booking closes on||Wednesday, 27th September 2017|
|Booking fee (per person)||£75.00|
|Retreat Leader||Samantabhadri, Ratnavandana, Khemasiddhi and Moksalila|
|Location||Taraloka Retreat Centre|