The purpose of this Retreat is to have an opportunity to step out of frenetic daily life and to explore the peace and compassion offered by Buddhist religion and philosophy.
The great Buddha presented a very a thoughtful and compassionate approach to life. He sought to teach us that everything is in the mind. In fact, everything is “mind!” Our task in life is to adopt the right mindset and that will give us equanimity and alleviate our suffering. The happiness we are seeking and the things we long for and desire are all available to us if we can cease being so attached to everything’s outcome: our life; our relationships; our career; our material well-being; our pursuit of all that we desire. It is our desires that burn inside us that make us envious; vengeful; greedy; and uncaring.
The Buddha mind is available to all of us. We just have to find it. How do we do that? Through meditation and a measured approach to life. This means understanding the Four Noble Truths and following the Noble Eightfold Path. Through these methods we can move towards nirvana which means “to extinguish”; to extinguish the fires of desire. This does not me an we should not have any desire. We must simply desire without attachment or fix ation.
In our Retreat we will explore the Buddha’s teaching and take time out to see how it might help us in our lives. We will discuss the evolution of Buddhism into its many branches. We will discuss the differences between, for example, Theravada, Mahayana, Tantric and Zen Buddhism. We will read some of the most important lessons from the Buddha and extracts from the sutras or Buddhist recorded sayings.
We will engage in Buddhist meditation and will learn some of the Buddhist approaches and techniques. We will also discuss the concept of “emptiness” and the interdependence of all life. Most of all we will talk about compassion and appreciation – the heart of the great Buddha manifest in Kuan Yin; the bodhisattva who takes care of us all.
These two days away from daily routines or demands will hopefully give you new appreciation and invigoration in your life. It may provide you with new insights or remind you of peace and happiness you have experienced and can experience again. If nothing else you will learn some of the techniques of Buddhist meditation. You will also have a chance to think about different spiritual paths and have time to inquire a little more into your own. You will meet other wonderful people who are investigating their lives too.
Readings will be provided both in advance and at the Retreat. There is no pressure to prepare or to memorize anything. All that is necessary is that you bring yourself and that you wish to spend some deep and special time with her… as She is always spending time with you!