Sound? Silence? Writing? Practice? In a world where so much is shifting unpredictably, the fundamental Four Noble Truths that serve as a bedrock of Buddhist inquiry can similarly serve a community of practice devoted to creative embodiment and expression of the path(s) that lead to the end of suffering.
This retreat invites us to explore how to cultivate such a community by experimenting with such practices.
Can we flush out creative invitations we find in ourselves and each other where we already live, at least part-time: in the unsettledness of being? This may just be what the Buddha has alluded to as the First Noble Truth. If so, we already are living the truth of Dharma, alive and awake in our deepest nature. Can we express—call on and call in—this intimate truth in ways that amplify our individual and communal aliveness? What unfolds if we listen to our realizations of the First Noble Truth and find courage to speak them? It's likely each of us feels, deep down, that our own incompleteness means we need further study and support to realize our wholeness. Let’s not be caught there, or forget that each of us is needed to complete one another.
As we love and know ourselves, we might unfold subsequent Truths as free human beings, never fully definable or caught in roles, challenges, and quandaries that arise along our path.
Retreat leaders will encourage being present (sati) with love (mettā) as core ways of exploring paths that lead to the end of suffering. Can we make ourselves at home on wobbly ground? On this retreat, there will be writing, singing, and silence; listening and speaking; and unstructured periods, so that we can appreciate napping, embodied practice, the season, and the land.