From Hungry Ghost to Being Human
‘Being Human’ is an encouragement to lift the veil and break the spell of universal cravings, aversions and confusions that so often manifest asaddictions, compulsions; and harmful thinking and behaviours.
This is not a silent retreat but there will be periods of quietude including one complete day of silence.
Healing the Heart-Mind
This retreat includes a progressive investigation of self-views – through the traditional practices of Loving-kindness and Forgiveness – supporting the letting-go of hatred and ill-will for ourselves and for others. We will learn to incline our minds towards kindness… there is no finer mindfulness!
It is important to note that you do not have to be ‘a Buddhist’ to practice any of the principles discussed, and meditation practices explored.
You should be kind to be a Buddhist;
but you do not have to be a Buddhist to be kind!
Each retreatant will be given a personal set of Tibetan Prayer Flags. One side of each flag is decorated with wood block prints of auspicious mantras, syllables and prayers – the other side is blank.
Everyone gets a set of personal Prayer-flags
- Throughout the 5-days, as we progress through our retreat, we are invited to write the names – starting with our own name – of all the many people that we want to send the blessings of loving-kindness and compassion to on our personal prayer-flags.
- We may also write our own personal aspirations, prayers and wishes creatively using words or images or symbols.
- We may also write the names – starting with our own name – of the people from whom we might want to ask for forgiveness.
- And lastly, we may write the names – starting with our own name – of all of the people that we may wish to forgive.
“I forgive you. I forgive you now.”
** For the ‘‘Being Human’‘ retreat at the Sunyata Buddhist Centre we will adopt the Eight Precept model of practice by adding three more training guidelines to the normal Five Precepts:
- To refrain from wearing make-up, perfume or strongly-scented deodorant, jewellery or immodest clothing; not playing radios, music tapes or musical instruments.
- To refrain from overindulgence in sleep.
- To refrain from eating after our main meal at lunchtime.
Some potential learning outcomes of this retreat
• Learning to stay with the uncomfortable – Right Now It’s Like This !?
• Develop an appreciation of the liberating distinction between ‘abstinence’ and ‘abandonment’.
• An introduction to and/or deepening of one’s own mindfulness meditation practice as a basic attitude in everyday life.
• A basic understanding of the Buddhist principles and practices of mindfulness-based harm reduction, relapse prevention and waking-up from ‘addictions’ and compulsions.
• An understanding and appreciation of the difference between ‘abstinence’ and ‘abandonment’ of addictions, compulsions and harmful behaviour (i.e. the Training Precepts compared to the commitment of a Sajja [Vow]).
• The opportunity to take part in and/or lead Buddhist-oriented ‘Sit-and-Share‘ peer led support meetings.
• The optional opportunity to make a Sajja [intention/aspiration/commitment/vow] as an outward manifestation of the heart’s desire to move away from suffering towards the end of suffering.