Our Annual Rainy Season Retreat is an opportunity for Mitras and Order Members Members at the SFBC to spend time practicing together.
This year we're very happy that Singhashri is visiting from England to lead the Retreat. Many of you will remember her since she lived and taught here for many years before moving to London.
Sangharakshita has said: 'We are the path.' On this intensive meditation retreat, come and discover how this might be true for you through an exploration of the Triratna System of Practice. How do we bring more and more of ourselves into our practice, with a spirit of unconditional love, towards realizing the true nature of reality?
“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.” Sangharakshita.
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 realize 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 practice 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.
During the Rainy Season 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?
Saturdays 10am to 4pm
Jan 5, Opening Ceremony and Practice Day
Jan 12, Practice Day
Jan 19, Order Day in Annex and Mitra Day on ground floor
Jan 25 - Practice Day
Wednesday Sangha Nights - 7pm to 9pm
Jan 9, 16, 23, 30
Fridays - Social/Movies/Pujas (tbd)
Jan 11, 18, 25
Sunday Jan 13 - 10am to 4pm
7:30 am Mon to Fri
12 Noon Tue, and Thur
6pm Tue, Wed, Thur, Fr
Mondays - Going for Refuge and Prostration Practice, with Karunadevi, 7pm
Jan 7, 14, 21, 28 (for Order Members and Mitras in the Ordination Training)
Study Groups - tbd