‘To leap like a tiger while sitting’


As you read this, I am sitting a three-day silent retreat.

Through the mechanism of advance scheduling, I wrote this blog post a few days ago, knowing that I would be cut off from the Internet for three full days. I wanted you to know that as you are reading this, I am sleep deprived, having risen at 4:30 a.m. to perform 108 bows. I am probably hungry, having submitted to an eating ritual that leaves one very little time to consume more than a few bites of food. It being winter, the Dharma room will probably be chilly. I am certainly cold, and by now, my knees probably hurt.

Yet I do this willingly, gladly — and even though this sounds exactly like complaining, I do not complain. It is a great privilege to have the time (and money) to particiapte in a Zen retreat. It’s hard work. The word “retreat” is misleading if you think it means something relaxing and comfortable.

This will be my third retreat. As I write, I am both anticipating and dreading it. As you read, I am already at least 24 hours into it.



8 responses

  1. I want to be where you are…sigh.

    “The word ‘retreat’ is misleading if you think it means something relaxing and comfortable.” That’s so true because whenever I tell non-practitioners I’m going on a retreat, they ask me, “Oh, you mean like a spa?” LOL…sigh.

  2. Like Paul wisely said, “everyday is a retreat”. I agree. Practice is everywhere, right now, right here. Thank you very much for your efforts!

  3. Thank you all for reading! Back home now, with very sore leg muscles. It was quite a good retreat. Everything ran smoothly. About 30 people in all practiced very hard.