The Buddha’s teachings make sense. We can understand the suffering of aging, illness and impermanence. We can see how our hungers keep us mired in suffering. We observe clinging in ourselves and others, and we readily understand how less clinging will lead to a life that is more skillful and free. We believe we understand the power of mindfulness and samadhi.
But is this all of it? Are there layers to the Dhamma, or more importantly, layers to this sensitive, human life, that whisper outside our rational paddock? Can such apparently common sense teachings as the six sense bases lead us to a subtler understanding of being alive in the world? Is mindfulness not only a forum for the display of our clunky and driven thoughts, or can it also be developed as a refining process for how we experience the world? Are relationships always just two or more individuals triggering each other and living out their conditioned reactions, or are there subtle aspects of relationship that can be experienced when samadhi ripens?
In this short online retreat, we explore three of the gateways to the sacred that run through our lives: aging, illness and death; nature; and relationship. We learn and practice Insight Dialogue, and apply the power of silent and relational meditation practices to investigate qualities of experience that subtly saturate our apparently rational lives and Buddhist practices. During this retreat, we participated in relational meditation in breakout rooms.