The Buddha taught ways of being present, known as the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. The first foundation is the body, the second is sensation, the third is mental activities and the fourth has to do with the laws of experience. One way to approach and practice this fourth foundation is to familiarize ourselves with what are known as the Five Hindrances -- desire, aversion, restlessness, drowsiness, and doubt -- and to transmute these energies into the Seven Factors of Awakening -- mindfulness, energy, joy, equanimity, calm, steadiness, and investigation.
During this five-day retreat, we will practice seeing, acknowledging and accepting the hindrances when they arise. And, we will investigate different ways to shift ourselves from being stuck in the hindrances into the freedom and happiness of awakening.
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 familiar formal 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 to all participants.
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.