Please join us for Mission Dharma’s third Retreat in Daily Life, The 60-day Rains Retreat. The retreat began on Tuesday January 31, and will end on March 31. Even if you are beginning late, please feel free to join us at any time! If you were not present for Howie’s talk about the retreat, you can listen to it here, Retreat- Taking refuge (1/31/12).
The theme of the 60-Day Retreat will be “Rains Retreat”. In Southeast Asia when the monsoon season begins, Buddhist monks and nuns move indoors both in body and mind for Vassa: the Rains Retreat. Since our rainy season is February and March, the Mission Dharma sangha is acknowledging our short days and rainy weather by looking inward.
Your Personal Retreat Focus
For those who wish to join this "at home" retreat we invite you to move more deeply into your own spirituality by making an intention to focus on some aspect of your own practice during this period. It might consist of focusing on one of the Brahma Viharas (Metta/ Loving-kindness, Karuna/Compassion, Mudita/Sympathetic Joy, Upekkha/Equanimity) and exploring ways they can be practiced in your everyday life, cultivating wholesome and skillful habits (mindful eating, getting more rest) or study and reflection. Explore what is best for you at this moment, and enter through the doorway that speaks to you.
Participating in the Retreat
Those who choose to participate in the retreat will commit to four practice periods each day. The practice periods can be a simple three-minute check-in with your body or an hour-long meditation period. Feel free to be creative with how you integrate practice in your daily life. No matter what you choose to do, the practice periods will help you deepen your practice!
Supporting Each Other
To support one another during this Rains Retreat, we will have a few resources available:
1) Gathering: We will come together and share our experiences during two half-day retreats on March 3 and March 31. We will meet at the Happiness Institute, 1720 Market St. San Francisco, CA 94102, both days 9 am-1 pm.
*** Public Transportation is strongly suggested *** (street metered parking close by, but limited).
2) Dharma Talks: We will explore some of these practices at our weekly Tuesday evening sangha. If you are unable to attend the Tuesday sangha, Howie Cohn's dharma talks are available for listening on our website: www.missiondharma.org/dharma-talks.html
3) Online Sangha Forum: We will use the Mission Dharma Facebook page as a place for online dialogue. Please feel free to share your experiences with the Sangha – tell us what your retreat focus is, what kinds of practice periods you will do to support this, how it si going. Feel free to invite friends near and far to join! www.facebook.com/MissionDharma
4) Buddies – Consider finding a retreat buddy to share your practice with. Some buddies check in daily, some once a week, some over the phone, some over email…find the balance that works best for you.
5) Please share your retreat intentions with Howie. You may email him at: mission[dot]dharma[at]gmail[dot]com. Please note: due to the large volume of emails, Howie may not write back, but he will be reading the intentions and holding them with you.
May we all grow in mindfulness, love, and compassion during our retreat!
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