Yesterday we ended a one-week retreat that was just for the residents of Beginner’s Mind Temple. That’s odd, you say. You temple folks live the retreat that the rest of us go on for our vacations. Yes, and running a place that others go for refuge is tiring. Truth be told, we’re a bunch of exhausted introverts.
But oddly enough, we weren’t itching to do something wild and crazy with our week off. Guess what emerged as the most-wanted retreat activities? Sitting zazen and having time to study Buddhism topped the list, along with (no surprise) getting more sleep. We also wanted time to just get to know each other and feel more connected, even though we all live in one block, eat in one dining room, and sit in one zendo.
So lest our week sound a bit self-indulgent, we might recall Wu-men:
If there is no harmony in the Buddhist temple, how can its residents bring harmony to the world and fulfill their vows?
Pure intentions without energetic functions are not sufficient.The temple doors are open again now. Thank you for your patience while we re-charged our energy. Please don’t be shy about doing the same for yourself. Retreat.