Friday, 1 November 2013

Retreat 3: Philosophy and house rules

This one's going to be dry and boring, so I'll keep it short.


Essentially Buddhist.  Most meditation sessions were mindfulness-based, though there were two guided metta meditations and some teaching on concentration practices.  The visiting teachers discussed issues from a Buddhist perspective.

With that said, the Barn's library contained psychology texts and books from other contemplative traditions, as well as Dhamma teachings.  Plus, the guy who runs the place doesn't define himself as Buddhist.  I think I was the only retreatant who in any way identified as Buddhist, but I didn't sense that the others felt put off or alienated by the focus on this guy:

"Today I shall go for the cottage loaf hairstyle"

House rules

If you know anything about Buddhism, you'll know that there are a lot of lists in it, one of which is The Five Precepts.  We were asked to keep these while on retreat.  Here's the vow from the Barn's website:

"I undertake the training to refrain from..."
  • harming any living being
  • taking what is not offered
  • sexual and sensual misconduct
  • false speech (including idle gossip, harsh and divisive speech)
  • taking substances which disturb the balance of the mind (and may lead me into committing any of the above)."

How well did I do?  I'll tell you how well in a later post!

In practical terms, this meant a vegetarian diet, no alcohol and no coffee.  There was tea, though, and you were allowed to sneak a crafty fag behind the woodshed.

No comments:

Post a Comment