The container for the retreats will provide an atmosphere of relaxation and wakefulness in which gentle discipline can flourish. Creating this container begins with a physical environment that is clean and uncluttered. Our practice in the container brings it to life. The way we enter the space, move through it, and perform simple rituals are all supports for our practice.
During practice periods, if the facilities allow, we will eat silently in the shrine room. There will be some days of complete silence. Other days there will be only functional talking. Sometimes we will have normal talking outside of the shrine room. During study periods, we will eat western-style and have normal talking.
The purpose of these forms is to help us support each other as we experience our individual inner journeys. By learning these forms, you will also learn how to create environments for others for their journeys.
You might think that a retreat dedicated to silent meditation, study, and contemplation would not be a place to develop lasting relationships. However, experience shows that going through intensive practice and study together produces deep bonds of friendship. You don’t need a lot of talk to connect with other people.