Announcing the First At-Home Practice Day, August 23!
A Virtual Retreat-Day Opportunity
Good day, everyone!
I’m pleased to announce that I have scheduled our first at-home practice day for Sunday, August 23. I’m really excited to expand the virtual offerings available within our sangha to include something approaching a genuine retreat experience. The general idea is that we will all set up our lives that Sunday as best we can to eliminate distractions and the responsibilities and obligations of everyday life, so that we can focus for a number of hours on practice and taking good care of ourselves. I expect the day to be relaxing, insightful, and fun!
Here is how the retreat day will look in detail:
The practice day will begin at 10:00 a.m. for those on the East Coast, and will end at 5:00 p.m. The normal Sunday evening virtual group will happen that day as well, so people can carry their retreat experience on into the night if they would like. I will ask everyone to the best of their ability to set up their day such that they have nothing to attend to but practice. People will turn off their phones, they will set aside their computers and other devices, and they will tell the people in their lives that they are on retreat and cannot be disturbed—so far as this is possible given the responsibilities people are carrying.
We will all follow the same schedule. We will begin the day with an orientation on Zoom, then move into sitting meditation. The schedule will consist of two half-hour sits, two group discussions, and two “practice periods” off-line. During the practice periods each person will chose some activity to focus on while they practice. Perhaps you would like to pick some simple project around the house to do while you practice “working meditation” (I’ll be discussing working meditation during the orientation). Or you might take some long walks, or sit on the porch with some tea; you might do some journaling or fit in some extra sitting meditation. This portion will be up to you. There will also be time for mindful food preparation and mindful eating (I’ll go over these things during the orientation as well). I will also give you some things to pay attention to while you engage with whatever activity you’ve chosen so that you have a spiritual focus as well as a practical one.
I am offering the practice day on a donation basis, as is the case with everything I do. My experience, however, says that it is necessary to ask for a deposit up front to support people in keeping their commitment to attend. It’s more difficult to be talked out of showing up if you have something invested in being there. And so if you will, in order to register for the practice day, please go to my website (www.theoneopendoor.org) and use the donation button at the bottom of the home page to submit a deposit for the retreat. $25 seems like a good amount, but feel free to give more or less depending upon your means. If you are someone who is strapped for cash right now, that’s fine: just donate fifty cents or a dollar so that I know you’re committed to attending. Please include a note with the donation, whatever the amount, indicating that it is for the practice day. If you would like to donate more at the end of the retreat day then of course I would be most grateful.
Thank you for your attention to this, everyone. I hope you will consider giving yourself a day devoted to practice. Take care, be well. I hope to see you in group (https://www.theoneopendoor.org/virtual-meditation-groups/ ) and/or on the virtual retreat before long!