Let the beauty we love be what we do
6 – 13 October 2017
Venue: Brimpts Farm
“Let the beauty you love be what you do” (Rumi)
As practioners we may limit our practice to the need of becoming aware of and working through our issues, our hindrances and all that obscures our potential for freedom and insight. Empowering and liberating as this may be, we can end up missing out on the beauty of the path. On this retreat we will focus on recognising and balancing the factors of energy and delight and explore how an increased ability and sensitivity to perceive beauty is already an aspect of the awakened heart.
There will be Meditation instructions, guided practices, reflections and the opportunity to meet with the teachers.
I conclude that concern for beauty is not a moral copout. It leads us firmly into the midst of all that is going on in our world. Where there is beauty apparent, we are to enjoy it; where there is beauty hidden, we are to unveil it; where there is beauty defaced, we are to restore it; where there is no beauty we are to create it. All of which places us, too, in the area where oppression occurs, where the oppressors congregate, and where we are called to be.
~ Robert McAffee Brown (North American theologian and activist)
The retreat is offered freely as the organisers intend to fundraise in advance to cover all costs (we anticipate these will be about £150 per person). Donations will be invited at the end of the retreat and these will be used to fund retreats in the future. This gives retreatants the opportunity to practice generosity by making it possible for future retreats to also be offered freely.
We will also invite a separate donation for the teacher(s). Teachers do not receive a fee for leading retreats, whilst giving enormously of their time and energy. Dharma teachings are considered priceless and therefore teachers offer their understanding freely. The livelihood of most Insight Meditation teachers depends wholly, or to a large extent, on voluntary contributions from retreatants who value their guidance and wish to support the ongoing teachings of the Dharma. Your generosity to the teacher is greatly appreciated.
Coming on retreat can be an invaluable boost for your practice whether you’re only just beginning with meditation or have been practising for decades. Everything is set up specifically to help you feel supported and to foster the calmness of mind necessary for meditative insight.
One of the conditions that we find particularly helpful to offer retreatants is an opportunity for shared silence. We agree as a group not to converse with each other for the duration of the retreat*, we turn off our phones and gadgets, we disconnect from social media, and we put down our books.
Why do we do this? Because silence provides the opportunity to develop a new relationship with ourselves and the world, rather than simply being a gap to be filled. Free from the usual distractions that stimulate the mind, we begin to experience an altogether different and sublime dimension to life, one that was hiding there all along. And as silence starts to reveal its irresistible and profound beauty we allow the possibility of our innate wisdom to show itself.
* During the week there will be talks, meditation instructions and opportunities to meet either in small groups or individually with the teacher. Outside of these times the retreat will remain in silence but the coordinators are always present and can be communicated with via notes if any problems arise.