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Home from sesshin

April 13, 2016

I’ve just (the weekend) returned from my first residential 7 day sesshin, (CHET centre, Crosby Hall) commonly in the west referred to as a ‘retreat’.

The term sesshin, is generally translated as ‘collecting the mind, or meeting the mind’ so the term retreat doesn’t do it justice really, the word ‘retreat’ is often used as a source of ammunition by other Buddhist organisations aimed at Zen practitioners – accusing them of trying to somehow escape from daily life.

I had a fantastic time, the first day and half were a struggle, getting my head around the schedule and the lack of stimuli (which of course is the point) and I suffered with my right knee, so by Tuesday morning I swallowed my pride and sat in a chair for zazen the rest of the time.

Being away from the TV, computer and operating in silence was an amazing experience, often the only noise through the day was that of birdsong.

I had two interviews (dokusan) with both teachers, so that was interesting.

Then home again, and back to work…back to the everyday life sangha.

 

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