“The path is a symbol, representing the fact that we can change… The path itself is not out there; it is in here. The path simply represents the individual solution to your own particular predicament. If you know and understand yourself as you are now, that puts you in a position to develop in your own way. The path is you in the process of organising your mental states in such a way that growth and development will take place in a positive direction.”
Many of us begin our journey as spiritual practitioners with all sorts of ideas about what we might achieve and how we should go about it. But, as our practice deepens, we may find that simply doing as we’re told isn’t enough, even as ideas about the goal and how we might reach it become less clear. We begin to understand that in order to realise the Dharma, we are going to have to find creative and personally meaningful ways to work through our unique set of habits in the service of ever deepening freedom from suffering.
This will be different for each of us, but there is something that unites us on our journeys: those are the principles that we practise by. These principles help us in understanding what is unfolding, how to meet that unfolding with curiosity and love, and how to turn that meeting into the means for awakening. These principles have been clearly communicated to us by our teacher through the five stages of our system of practice: integration, positive emotion, receptivity, spiritual death and spiritual rebirth.
On this intensive meditation retreat, we will explore the System of Practice by getting curious about how the foundational meditations of mindfulness of breathing, metta bhavana and just sitting support us on our journey. We will specifically explore:
- How do we create the conditions for a calm, peaceful mind that can more fully turn towards and be with our direct experience?
- How can we meet difficult sensations, thoughts and emotions with a non-judgmental attitude, and cultivate curiosity?
- How can we begin to see more clearly our habitual reactions and the suffering they create?
- What else is possible?
- Meditation instruction, practice and reviews
- Small and large group discussion
- Extended periods of silence, with at one least day of little to no input
- Written and silent reflection
- Dharma talks that support deepening insight in meditation
- Ritual and Pujas
(Singhashri will be the main teacher on the retreat)