The Buddha encouraged people of all ages to undertake the frequent contemplation of “The Five Recollections” — aging, sickness, death, loss and karma – as a key practice leading to joy and liberation. In this five-day retreat we will bring our attention to this seeming paradox. We will explore how cultivating an intimate understanding of these great matters of life and death can help us face, and master, our fears. Over time, with mindfulness and an open heart, we can come to see these conditions of impermanence from a perspective of gratitude. Turning towards the inevitability of change and loss — rather than denying them or turning away — helps us to more fully appreciate the beauty and preciousness of a life inspired and guided by Dharma practice.
The format of this five-day retreat invites each of us to intentionally combine formal meditation and daily life as dharma practice. We start with a weekend, emphasizing the practices of sitting and walking meditation. For the subsequent three days, we will meet in the evenings only. Participants will be given a meditation exercise to practice with during the day, an exercise directly concerned with daily life. Coming together again at the end of the day we will sit, walk and share our experiences of working with the exercises.
Individual interviews will be offered.
This program is appropriate for both new and experienced meditators. Participants must attend both Saturday and Sunday, and are strongly encouraged to attend all five days. For those unable to attend any of the weekdays, we offer weekend-only registration.