I'm just back from 10 days of unstructured silence at the Forest Refuge in Barre, Massachusetts.
Tara and I stopped in to visit my father in his Alzheimers unit on our way up. As I shared in my talk, I am getting more comfortable there with each visit. People sit in rooms together in silence and those who can walk, walk very slowly from place to place. There is a camaraderie in the silence, though everyone seems to live in their own inner world.
Once we arrived at this center dedicated to supporting people on long-term retreats, I could not help but notice:
- People sit in rooms together in silence
- Those who can walk, walk very slowly from place to place
- There is a camaraderie in the silence though everyone seems to live in their own inner world
I won't go into detail here, but a retreat like this is always deeply transformative.
If you'd like to hear more, you might listen to my talk from Monday night in Arlington. In it I share about the specific practices I used and some of the trials and insights that arose.
Here's the blurb:This talk is fresh from my return from a ten-day silent unstructured retreat at the Forest Refuge in central Massachussets.
We'll explore some specific practices I found helpful for developing concentration as well as how to look deeply into the the Three Characteristics of Reality. Along with techniques for arriving, we'll talk about strategies for riding the ever-changing waves and fluctuations of sensations, feelings, moods and mind states.