Overall it was a splendid trip. I had some logistical vexations, with my bank card, the rented car and phone, and with Boris bikes on occasion, but I got to see the people I had hoped to see, spent much time 'chillaxing', to use the ugly mot du jour over in England, and best of all, the weather was mostly gorgeous.
Personally, I was very happy with the retreat - which seems long ago already. I was very graciously hosted by Francis and Bernadette, and pleasantly surprised with the turn-out: there were twelve people the first day, and sixteen the second, and mostly people with a lot of practice experience, so our discussions on the Tenzo Kyokun were pretty rich. There was a nice amount of sitting as well, and it was of course completely gratifying to be doshi for a short service before lunch where everyone's pronunciation in the Heart Sutra was the same.
This is a picture of the group at the end of the second day - and if you are counting heads, a couple of people had already left by then.
|We did a few posed shots as well, but I like this one better|
Naturally there are about a thousand photos I have to sift through in the coming days, but here are a few examples, just so you know - if you are not reading over in Europe - that I was not exaggerating about the weather.
|The sun was not out in Totnes, but it is a charming town, and the cows were very friendly when we went to visit them|
|May greens in England - this is the road to my dad's house in Cornwall|
|One of several nice places to sit and read in my dad's garden|
|Walking in Hereford with my mother on Sunday morning, and the very particular colour of the earth there|
|I had twenty-four very happy hours in Paris on Monday, which involved sunshine, bikes and food|
|Covent Garden in London on Tuesday - the bunting is out in full force now|