EXPECTATIONS FOR PRACTITIONERS:
- Adherence to the ethical guidelines of the Ten Precepts (see below)
- A commitment to use all activities of the day as opportunities for practice
- Maintenance of silence by refraining from verbal and written communication
- Sustained and continuous practice
- A commitment to being fully at the retreat, with no outside activities
- Completion of a daily work meditation
- Participation in scheduled interviews should you be having them
- Participation in the retreat schedule that you have created
We ask that you abide by these ten Buddhist precepts for dedicated lay practitioners while at this retreat:
- I undertake the precept to refrain from harming or destroying living beings.
- I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
- I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
- I undertake the precept to refrain from wrong speech.
- I undertake the precept to refrain from the intoxicants that cause carelessness.
- I undertake the precept to refrain from sources of livelihood that bring harm to other beings.
- I undertake the precept to refrain from acting out of ill-will or taking satisfaction in the misfortune of others
- I undertake the precept to be open-hearted and generous in all my relationships with others.
- I undertake the precept to act with loving-kindness and compassion in all my relationships with others.
- I undertake the precept to live with mindfulness and follow the Eightfold Path through daily study, meditation, and reflection.
Noble silence is a practice not just of refraining from verbal speech, but also restraining our desires to communicate with notes and our eyes and body language as well. The intention behind noble silence is a beautiful one: to allow you to go deeper into your internal practice by lessening our constant external communicating, and to allow others who may be sharing the land in retreat with us to have the silent retreat they desire. There is a note system for communicating your needs to your retreat hosts, and of course, in case of real need anyone can speak to anyone.
COMMUNICATION WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD
The experience of being on retreat is a rare opportunity for silence and solitude. All personal and business obligations should therefore be taken care of prior to arrival, to the extent possible.
As part of your intensive retreat practice, you will be asked to engage in mindful work practice. The work will consist of 1 hour a day at tasks such as landscaping, cleaning, gardening, etc. This work meditation, a form of service, is also vital: it enables us to maintain relatively low retreat fees, and it allows you the opportunity to practice mindfulness in daily activities. If you have a particular skill you would like to offer, please let us know!