The theme of the retreat will be Ending the Ping-Pong Game: finding the peace of balance in body, mind, and heart. (Read Jan’s blog on the theme of the retreat.) Playing ping-pong is fun, but having a mind and heart that swings back and forth like a ping-pong ball is decidedly not fun. In this retreat we will investigate the many ways we swing between extremes and consider how to find the ease inherent in the “Middle Way” of balance in body, effort, and heart. We’ll focus on staying present with the body and breath as it offers us the ideal window into all of the ways we also lose balance and bounce around like a ping-pong ball. Through coming into the body, and becoming grounded and stable there, we are able to then also understand and establish stability and balance even when strong emotional and thought storms threaten to overwhelm the heart and mind. Many of us tend to favor thoughts over experiential bodily sensations, so to establish balance in meditation, we need to learn to settle into the experience of the body and breath, to find ease and even pleasure in embodiment. In this retreat, we will ask, “where is balance?” in the body, breath, and mind, throughout the day whether sitting, moving, standing, or eating.
The retreat will be suitable for those newer to meditation and those with more meditation or retreat experience. Sitting meditation periods will alternate with periods of walking meditation throughout each day. Each day will include a morning reflection and evening Dhamma talk from the teacher. Days will begin and end with a ‘puja’ that includes chanting, lighting candles and incense, and meditation. There will be an optional movement session each full day for those wanting to join in. The retreat will be held in Noble Silence but include times for ‘questions and response’ in the dhamma hall, and small group interviews with the teacher.