Last night I went along to the local Buddhist meeting, this time kindly held at a members house in a little village called Quarff. Here's a picture someone else took on a stormy day. It was dark, I never got this view!
After the meditation session, eating cake and drinking tea, as all good Buddhists do; the talk got round to the subject of retreats. And talk of retreats being made up largely of sitting, working meditation, reading and generally being mindful.
But, do you really have 'to travel to other dusty countries, forsaking your own seat' to do this? Can't you just do this at home, isn't this what real practise is? There is obviously merit in setting yourself aside from work,family commitments etc. for a time to practise intensely in a retreat setting but the on going practise is in our day to day lives'.
Then this morning I read the following in Rev. Master Mugo's blog Jade Mountain
The following is from The Denkoroku - The Record of the Transmission of the Light. Chapter 1. Shakyamuni Buddha. Copyright, Shasta Abbey Press 1993.
Shakyamuni Buddha, The Awakened One. Upon seeing the morning star,Gautama became Shakyamuni Buddha when He was, is and will be awakened to His TRUE SELF and said, says and will say, "I was, am and will be enlightened,together with the whole of the great earth and all its sentient beings,simultaneously.
I hope it goes without saying that while Awakening is now and ever present it does require of us to wake up! Not only that, there is getting out of bed and then getting on with ones day, awake! It is a common practice to sleep walk through the day. In effect to live in fairyland - where one is not. Or as I put it, getting ahead of oneself or behind oneself. This why it is so very important to not only RiseUp (wake up) and Walk on (through the day) but also to forget.
It reminded me of some of the conversation last night and that when we say we are going on retreat we often think of it as stepping back from the 'daily grind'.
But in reality we are retreating into the present, not looking back and not thinking a head; being present now and not dreaming or reminiscing our days away.
This we can do when ever and where ever we choose to.