Why Are Retreats a Vital Part of Practice?

Why Are Retreats a Vital Part of Practice?

Retreats are powerful. They give you a chance to reset, refresh, and de-clutter your mind. They offer time to resolve unfinished things in your heart, to learn to see yourself and the world with eyes of compassion and forgiveness.

Retreats help to attune to your inner rhythms and to the immense current of universal life flowing through you as you. On retreat you can let your guard down, let your heart open and your bodymind unwind. In the safety and refuge of community, you learn to relax and rest in the richness of life as it is. And at the end of the retreat the benefit is visible: whether it’s a day or a week or longer, everyone looks younger, more open, clear-eyed, and radiant.

Take a moment now and ask yourself: is it time for a retreat? Can a retreat serve you? What might be stopping you from taking time to support your being in this healthy way? Retreats can be healing, transformative and profound, so I encourage you to dip your toes in and explore. You’ll be glad you did!

Trudy Goodman
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I can certainly attest to the power of retreat in my own life. One week after my first time on a meditation cushion I attended a daylong meditation retreat. It was challenging and much of the time I had no idea what I was doing. But as I walked to my car at the end of the day, I felt a clarity and lightness that I had never known before. I knew right then that I would make retreats a priority in my life. They became an oasis of calm and lucidity during a turbulent time in my life. I continued to retreat regularly as my life settled down – they served as vital maintenance for my heart and mind. They still do.

For the committed practitioner, meditation retreats are not a luxury but an essential part of deepening their practice. Concentrated time spent away from daily distractions allows access to parts of our minds and hearts that are normally out of reach; retreats help us contact our deepest evaded realities.

Retreats of various duration are available year round, anywhere from half day or daylong retreats to 7 or 10 day retreats (or more). If your life situation prevents you from traveling afar or carving out chunks of time for retreats, take advantage of nearby half-day and daylong retreats as often as you can and shorter residential retreats that only last a weekend. But do make them a priority as you deepen and sustain your practice.

Lisa Ernst

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Ichi-go Ichi-e: One Chance in a Lifetime

Each moment is unique and precious because it will never come again. Buddha recommended contemplating impermanence so we can better appreciate and wake up in this moment, our only moment. Out of this awareness of the fleeting nature of life arises deep gratitude. The Japanese call it Ichi-go Ichi-e, one chance in a lifetime, never to come again.

At Home in Beginner’s Mind Awakening to the Boundless Possibility of This Moment

Saturday, October 27, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Nashville Friends Meeting, Led by Lisa Ernst

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few.” Suzuki Roshi

When we look at situations through the lens of our past conditioning, often expectations and fears mislead us. Meditation practice helps us to see with clear eyes and an open heart, meeting each moment as an open field of possibility, unstained by past conditioning. This is the beginner’s mind that refreshes our view of life and how we connect with the world.

In this retreat we will return to the simplicity of breath and body, then gradually open our awareness to include all that is appearing and passing away in this moment. Spiritual freedom arises through this capacity to touch our ever-changing life with a fresh heart that sees no ultimate separation. All levels of experience are welcome, from those new to retreats to experienced practitioners who wish to refresh and return the home of beginner’s mind.

Led by Lisa Ernst, the retreat will include sitting and waking meditation, instructions, dharma talk and q&a. Please bring a bag lunch. Cost is $50 plus dana (generosity offering) to the teacher. A reduced fee scholarship spot is available in the case of financial need. You can make your payment by Paypal here or by check, mailing instructions are here. An email will be sent in advance of the retreat with more details. For questions email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com.