Going in order from our 6 am Qigong start to the day.. then at 6:45 am we did a silent sit to nurture the chi which we had just cultivated. That lasted until 7:25 am. Not a whole lot more to share about that. 🙂
I usually did the Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind (Toward Enlightenment) every morning during that silent sit time. Including a body scan to go along with Impermanence, it would take me the whole 40 minutes to get through the Leisures and Endowments, contemplating Impermanence, Karma cause and effect and lastly the Six Realms – and really getting juicy with the sufferings of the lower realms (if you are looking for a good text about this, the Words of My Perfect Teacher includes some rather graphic – yet good grist for the meditation mill – details about the suffering of the Hell realms or the Transformation of Suffering by Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen).
Then during the 7:30 – 8 AM window, we did Dharma discussion. This was another time in the day when we could share briefly and not be breaking Noble Silence. We talked about the Four Immeasurables – which included the Drikung Kagyu prayer, another interpretation from Jack Kornfield and a beautiful piece by Caroline Jones:
Metta is the love that connects.
It is an antidote to all forms of aversion.
It is not [grasping] attachment.
If it slides into sentimentality,
Karuna brings the heart back into balance.
Karuna is the love the responds.
It is an antidote to cruelty.
It is not pity.
If it slides into sorrow,
Mudita brings the heart back into balance.
Mudita is the love that celebrates.
It is an antidote to envy.
It is not competitive.
If it slides into agitated excitement,
Upekka brings the heart back into balance.
Upekka is the love the allows.
It is an antidote to partiality.
It is not indifference.
If it slides into disconnection,
Metta brings the heart back into balance.
In addition to the above practices, we also looked at the Eight Fold Noble Path – right view, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, etc and we examined more of a Theravada themed text on the Anapanasati’s – the Mindfulness of Breath practices. We looked at the Four Holdings of Mindfulness, the Seven Factors of Awakening and Knowledge and Liberation.
This was a nice brief way to set the mind toward right motivation for the day before breaking our fast for the day. 🙂
Thanks for reading and more to come soon!
One thought on “10-day retreat Missives: Dharma Discussion”
Brahma Viharas.is beautiful.
Thank you ~`~