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From Seeking Peace to Being Peace -An insight meditation retreat with Pádraig Cotter
January 11 @ 4:00 pm - January 13 @ 3:00 pm
Insight meditation involves the exploration of our experience in ways that lead to a deepening of our understanding into what leads to suffering and what leads to peace. On this retreat our exploration will take the shape of various practices such as mindfulness of breathing, formless awareness meditation, walking meditation among others. These practices will serve as gateways through which we can investigate the Buddha’s teachings on realising a peace of heart and mind beyond suffering, what he called Nibbana (Pali) or Nirvana (Sanskrit).
The retreat is suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners.
Start and End Times:
Registration for this silent weekend retreat will be from 4pm on Friday 11th January with soup served at 6.15pm. The retreat will begin at 7pm with a short orientation talk and will end at lunchtime on Sunday the 13th. It is necessary to attend all of the retreat.
Coming on Retreat
To find out more about coming on retreat please see here: http://www.sunyatacentre.org/coming-on-retreat-at-sunyata/
Cost of Retreat
Like all retreats at Sunyata, this retreat is offered on a donation (dana) basis.
At the end of the retreat there will be a chance to offer donations to the centre.
We are asked sometimes for guidance regarding donations towards the centre and we calculate that €45 per person per day meets the ‘break even’ cost for running all of our retreats throughout the year. If one wishes to give more than the guided amount, then that would be very welcome. All donations are anonymous.
To book a place please e-mail [email protected]
I have been interested in meditation and spiritual explorations since 2001, and since then have practiced in various different traditions. I have been a volunteer at Sunyata Centre since 2010 and began to teach retreats in 2015. What I have noticed most in my own journey and that of others is that we tend to bring a wilfulness to spiritual practice that ends up working against us, creating tension and struggle in our attempt to come to a realisation of peace, free of tension
and struggle. It is a wilfulness that is often rooted in a sense of inadequacy and unworthiness, turning our practice into one of never-ending self-improvement, which ensures that the fulfilment we long for is always kept at a distance. Our efforts towards awakening are hijacked by the unquestioned adherence to self-view, the problematic ideas we hold about ourselves, and the activities compelled by such ideas. Our efforts are intensified by a sense of doubt that says “there is something I must attain and achieve, somewhere I must get to, something I don’t have, that if I can only get it all together, heal myself, perfect myself, enlighten myself, purify myself, then perhaps one day I can somehow gain the peace of mind I so desperately lack.” These are
the cries of the separate self longing for fulfilment. However it can take a long time for the realisation to dawn that the fulfilment we long for cannot be gained with means that are based on fragmentation and seeking. In fact, it cannot be gained at all because it has never been lost in the first place, merely obscured. This paradigm shift of the spiritual journey can be described in various ways: from seeking peace to being peace; from dependency upon conditions to an unconditional abiding; from time to timelessness; from becoming aware to recognising awareness itself. The release from the burden of seeking can then provide a sustainable basis for wise and compassionate action in the healing of the world. When teaching meditation, therefore, my main emphasis is therefore more on curiosity and playfulness of spirit than
adherence to method, more on an attitude of allowing than striving, for how can tension-filled effort lead to release from tension?