Silence is an important part of spiritual practice and a silent retreat draws us into deeper ways of being.Having left behind the noise of the world, what is it like to see a deep red sunset spread across the late afternoon sky? What is it like to hear a single robin chirpingin a birch tree? How does it feel to live within a 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, less substantial and more connected with everything. We may glimpse more that ‘form is only emptiness, emptiness only form’.
A silent retreat gives the opportunity to be with ourselves and go beyond ourselves: whether meditating, walking in the winter landscape or sitting by the glowing fire with a cup of tea. We develop a deeper and kindly awareness of the play of our minds and of the world of our senses: the sounds, the scents, the very feel of things and our inner resonance with them. We can live in a gentle, tender-hearted connection with our experience and with others. All this is an opportunity for relaxation and contentment.
We will be with the Dharma also through meditation, ritual and devotional practice, and beautiful shrines. The programme will include contemplative standing and walking outside. There will be supportive spoken input and guidance from the team.
The silence will begin at the end of the very first evening.We will gently ease back into speaking from the last afternoon onwards.
In even a light snow, we can see
The three thousand worlds
Again a light snow falls.