Dear Sangha and Friends,
We hope you are safe, with ease, and finding ways to experience the happiness that is always available.
It is with great joy that we offer another winter retreat this year. This retreat is free and open to everyone: those who currently practice with our sangha, those who have practiced with us in the past, and those who have not yet practiced with us. We welcome all and meet you wherever you may be.
At this retreat we will:
- Watch weekly Dharma talks 10-20 minutes each, on our own time
- Set an intention of engaging in a daily personal mindfulness practice
- Participate in a weekly one hour virtual gathering with the Sangha
- Optional: Participate in second body practice
What is a winter retreat?
The winter retreat is offered in the spirit of the Buddha’s traditional three month Rains retreat when monastics gathered together to deepen their practice and take refuge in the Sangha.
During our retreat, we will practice at home and come together virtually for an hour once per week for three months, starting the first week in December.
The retreat is a time of dwelling peacefully, with space for reflection and discovery. Together we can solidify and deepen our practice; recognize and let go of ideas, distractions, or disturbances (maybe the news, media, politics, certain websites that we go back to again and again); and reclaim our freedom and stability.
Perhaps you might like to create (or perhaps you’ve already created) a beautiful physical space that is sacred and without distraction, for meditation and reflection. We can create protection for ourself, support each other, and take refuge in the Sangha.
To learn more about winter retreat practice, please enjoy this 70 minute Dharma talk by Brother Phap Dung (pronounced Fap You-mm): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EIvuC9tUS0
This year we have selected shorter Dharma talks, as many of us had trouble keeping up in past years. We will use a mix of Thich Nhat Hanh and Pema Chodron videos approximately 10-20 minutes each, all with closed captioning.
For your personal practice focus/intention, we ask that you commit to daily sitting and/or walking meditation, or another personal practice of your choice. We will have the opportunity to share our aspirations and support each other on our path of practice.
We invite you to ask yourself: What in your practice do you want to fortify? How can you find additional ways to take refuge in yourself? What do you want to let go of? How can the Sangha nourish you during the retreat, and how can you help others in the Sangha take refuge?
Another part of the retreat is the optional participation in Second Body practice, where we connect more deeply with one person, to support one another in mindfulness and practice deep listening together about once each week. This year those selecting this option will partner one on one for second body, instead of ‘round robin’ as we did in past years. For a beautiful explanation of the second body practice, please visit http://www.stillwatermpc.org/practice-resources/second-body-practice-resources/.
If you wish to join us on the retreat, please:
- Send us an email using the Contact Us on this website by Friday, November 20th to let us know.
- Tell us if you would you like to participate in Second Body. If yes, you will be paired with a single partner to connect with during the duration of the retreat.
- Share days and times are you available to meet for one hour each week. Ex: M-F 4:00 – 9:00 PM, Weekend mornings between 8:00 and 11:00 a.m., etc.
We wish you a happy practice.
Bowing to you,
Open Heart Mindfulness Community