The first dharma talk of the retreat - we've already done all the practical stuff, established the sila, and are opening the theme: Opening, Steadying, and Allowing. Yet there are many ways to see any retreat, and these are just suggestions that may be helpful...
Exploring the balancing qualities of samvega, spiritual urgency with pasada, quiet confidence or trust, as support for our capacity to look more fully at the truth of impermanence. Ends with an invitation to briefly contemplate our own mortality.
In this meditation we are guided to discover the space and aliveness that fills the body, sense the space in the universe, and then to realize our Beingness as continuous space, filled with the light of awareness. When our attention contracts into thoughts, the pathway to awareness is a relaxing back, reopening to the natural openness, silence and stillness of our true nature.
The root of suffering is the pain of separation, the fears and loneliness that arise when we have forgotten our intrinsic belonging to each other and to all of life. These next two talks look at the epidemic of loneliness predating the pandemic, and how loneliness is exacerbated in our current global crisis for those living alone, and for those feeling disconnected to themselves and others. We then explore how a courageous practice of compassionate presence - with our inner life, and in relationships - can turn the energy of loneliness into a current of healing and freedom.
Open Q&A covering topics such as: calming the body after an angry outburst and repairing the relational connection; meditating on the 'sound of silence'; using multiple anchors; working with the mind jumping from one thing to another.