returning to monchique



It is with pleasure that I can announce the resumption of our silent meditation and yin yoga retreats at Karuna Center in Algarve, Portugal where we will be holding our week-long retreat from July 20th to the 27th, 2019.

Some of you may know that we had to interrupt our retreats there due to the wildfires that swept across the Serra de Monchique last summer just after our last period of practice. The center has risen from its ashes and is able to host us again.

This is a happy occurring as I feel connected to the Monchique mountains, the venue and to the friends who created and run the center with dedication and love. Those of you who have already had the opportunity to join me there probably share these feelings as you have told me how much your time and experience there was precious and of value to you.

Looking forward to sharing another intense period of practice this coming July with those of you who would like to return to sit in silence and stillness with me and to engage deeper with the practice and the teachings and, with those of you who would like to but have not yet found the chance. It may not be necessary to look for the ideal time to come as that may prove to be an elusive notion.

Notice if there is a calling and if there is one allow it to guide your steps to these hilltops where you are invited to slow down, sit in stillness and hark the deep silence that is not in the nature of everything but is the very nature of everything to unfold and to embrace you. Embraced by silence and stillness you are the awareness that holds everything in its embrace but that nothing, no experience, no narration, can grasp in its hold. This is opening up to ungraspability.

It is a startling discovery to come to realize how far we have removed ourselves from that primordial source of being from which all life emerges and to which all life returns. Silence is the realization that whilst there is an arising and there is a returning, things do appear and disappear, we do appear and disappear, yet this unfolding is a dynamic process with no beginning and no end for ends and beginnings still belong to categories of measurement but for this, we have no measure. Having no measure is the felt sense of the inseparability of all things and this is spaceless and timeless.

Silence is not the absence of words, silence is the wonderment of rediscovering the world and yourself, as words and concepts are hushed and you realize the deep quiet and generous presence, an infinite receptivity, that is the source of your voice and the bed stream of your words. I am using silence to give you a sense of what in Buddhist terms you would call shunyata or emptiness. But as it is unnamable any name will do, any name will do as no name can do it justice.

" The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name.” Laozi

Journeying into silence, into the unnamable, becoming intimate with the unknown is a homecoming.

#sesshin #zazen #meditationretreat #silence #laozi #dharmatalk #zenbuddhism #monchique

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