Good day, everyone!
I’m pleased to announce that I have scheduled our second at-home practice day for Sunday,
October 25. The first practice day was fabulous, I thought—fun, spacious, and supportive—and
I’m already looking forward to this next one! It’s a wonderful thing for me to share something
approaching a genuine retreat experience with folks in the sangha. 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. The day is sure 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