21 – 26 September
The well-known metaphor of ‘a finger pointing at the moon’ is itself a pointer to something essential in dharma practice. It suggests ‘don’t mistake the finger for the moon’. But what is the moon, and what is the finger? The finger could be taken as whatever gets us looking and going in the ‘right’ direction. For example, the eight ‘right’ perspectives on dharma practice that the Buddha taught.
But neither these nor any other dharma practices are ‘right’ (or ‘wise’) if we’re relating to them literally, as ends in themselves. That would be ‘attachment to rules and religious practices’ – believing that it’s enough to do our practices by rote, and losing touch with that to which they are pointing us.
What they are pointing us to is ‘waking up’ – bodhi. Waking up from the delusions that give rise to suffering. Bodhi is the ‘moon’ of our true nature, which is always here, even when obscured by clouds.
In this retreat, we’ll focus on the ‘moon’ by addressing a core delusion – that “I am separate”. This is better known as anatta, ‘not-self’, but this core pointing-out on the Buddha’s part isn’t suggesting that we’re somehow non-existent! Rather, it is pointing us back to our essential non-dividedness.
We’ll approach this by first cultivating calm, embodied, aware presence and opening to unconditional love. With that as our ground, we’ll explore our experience directly and interactively, using pointers as to how we create and sustain the delusion of separation and a self-other dichotomy. Seeing through such delusions wakes us up from our self-view and to an essential truth of the dharma, the ‘moon’ of our undivided nature here and now.
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This retreat is open to anyone who has been meditating for at least 3 years.
Please book by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (not our usual email address). Your booking will be acknowledged and you’ll be emailed information for logging in to the Zoom sessions on the day before the online retreat starts.
This is a dana event – please give whatever you can afford via the donation button on any page of our website www.vajraloka.org. The principle of dana includes you being welcome to a free retreat – we don’t want anyone to be financially constrained from attending.
There will be two input and led practice sessions per day, one from 09.30 to 11.30 and the other from 20.00 to 21.00, UK time. There will also be an opportunity to join a meditation with Prajnapriya, with bells but no leading-through, from 16.00 to 16.45 each afternoon.