Within this body there is the whole universe
24 September – 1 October 2016
Venue: The High Heathercombe Centre
When we pay attention we may discover how disembodied we are at times. Many of us seem to live mostly in the head – where we hold ideas and notions about who and what we are and often very limiting views of self, other, the world. And we may discover that to be disembodied means to be disconnected.
Meditation is an embodied practice. In the Rohitassa Sutta the Buddha proclaims:
It is just within this fathom-long body … that I declare that there is the cosmos.
Practice invites us to be present to our physical being, our inner landscape with its sensations and emotions. It invites us to be fully present to see the ways we get stuck and also to touch freedom. We discover that compassion, care, joy, and wisdom are found and known in the body and that we need to be embodied and intimate with this body/mind/heart to experience them deeply.
Through meditation instructions, guided practices and reflections we will explore what it may mean to live a more embodied life, learning to trust our potential and to discover our profound embeddedness in this world, our connection with everything.
Aside from the above times for instructions and guidance the retreat will remain in silence.
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.
Click here to submit an application form