Silent Retreat (2017)
‘It is the pauses which make beautiful the music of our lives. It is the empty spaces which give richness and significance to them.’ (Sangharakshita: ‘Pauses and Empty Spaces.’)
I have been thinking that a silent retreat is much more than a retreat with silence. It can take us into a particular, deeper way of being. What is our experience when the meditation bell finally fades or when we catch the pause between the birdsong? What is it like to relax and live within a deeper flow of quietness? We glimpse the inner resonance of silence in meditation, while silence is also an outer presence and atmosphere. We can feel as if we are moving in a different rhythm and ordinary life resembles ritual. We can loosen our deluded fixed view of self and so feel less substantial and more connected with everything. We can glimpse that ‘form is only emptiness, emptiness only form.’
More simply, a silent retreat gives us the opportunity to be with ourselves and how we are: whether meditating, walking in the summer landscape or sitting by the window with a cup of tea. We thus develop a deeper but kindly awareness of the play of our minds and of the world of our senses – the sights, sounds, the very feel of things and our resonance with them. We are also living in a gentle, unspoken harmony with others.
We will hear and be with the Dharma through meditation, carefully chosen readings and through devotional practice. The programme will include contemplative standing outside, as well as time to reflect and to be with our experience. We will offer some meditation guidance and optional meditation reviews.
The silence will begin at the end of the very first evening. There will be the chance gently to ease back into speaking from the last afternoon onwards as a preparation for going back into the world.
I could write more but ‘the rest is silence’.
Led by Samantabhadri and Team
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, 18th August 2017 17:00|
|Retreat End Date||Friday, 25th August 2017 11:00|
|Booking closes on||Wednesday, 16th August 2017|
|Booking fee (per person)||£75.00|
|Retreat Leader||Samantabhadri and Team|
|Location||Taraloka Retreat Centre|