Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Turning Down, Tuning In

In other words it's time for a tune-up. Turning down the mental volume and tuning in to the heart is so easy to forget as we get wrapped up in the day to day hustle and bustle that we latch on to. To step back from some of the stuff of household life, even for a short time, requires careful planning to avoid stepping on other peoples emotional toes as much as possible. Abundant opportunities for developing the Brahma-viharas there. It's all practice, especially the challenging parts.

Last winter Gary over at Forest Wisdom (soon to be found at Buddha Place) did a self retreat and I decided to join him, though a tad late. I found it to be extremely helpful and realize that, much like physical exercise, at least some of the benefit fades over time if not maintained. I also remember that knowing someone else was making the effort as well was a great help, especially in getting through the rough spots. So I invite anyone who visits here to join me if you're able.

I'm planning on the first week in June for my tune-up/retreat. I've a few details to wrap up and some commitments to attend to. Trying to tie up as many loose ends as reasonably possible while remaining open to the inevitable situations that routinely present themselves in an active and sometimes unpredictable household is kind of a warm up exercise in patience and equinimity.

I've chosen Ajahn Sr. Vayama as my retreat 'leader'. It has been a long, long time since I've listened to her teachings so I'm looking forward to her wonderfully direct and gentle guidance. During this time I will commit to meditating each morning and evening, listening to a Dhamma talk by Ajahn Vayama each day, and observing the 8 precepts.


Dhamma81 said...

I'll do my best to join you Kris. I just trained someone to work Saturdays for me on a permanent basis so i'll have a little more time for me. Be Well in your practice.

G said...

Hi Kris & Justin.
I too will join in. You plan to start on the 1st June, Kris? You write you'll be doing a week retreat, which sounds a good length - the month-long one I did last year was a tad long, really! I may do 10 days: not sure yet.

Ajahn Brahm will be my retreat leader this time around. (Like last time, I'll be working for at least 5 of the days, so another challenge to see my work colleagues & students as my retreat companions!!)

Great idea, Kris!

puthujjana said...

Hi Justin and G,
It's great to know I'll have such good company! I'm going to try not to let so much time pass between these retreats. Maybe a week every other month or so. A week (for me) is a better length. More than that tends to push the envelope with family. So shorter, but a bit more structured seems a good balance. I've really only observed the 8 precepts for one day at a time, so that part will be interesting. I'm considering digging out the kid's old tent. That idea raised a few eyebrows! LOL! We'll see.

By the way, Tahn Manapo has added audio Dhamma talks to Dhamma Diary. I've listened to the first 2 and found them very helpful.