A Virtual Retreat with Patrick Kearney
Friday 7 – Sunday 16 August 2020
This online retreat will be conducted through Zoom. The daily schedule will include: an early morning posture and flexibility workshop to help develop a mindfulness immersed in body (kāyagatā sati); a practice workshop which will progressively introduce different aspects of mindfulness practice; group sittings; individual interviews; and an evening dharma talk. Each day will begin at 7:30 a.m. for the posture and flexibility session and end at 8:30 p.m. after the evening dhamma talk.
Domestic practice We will be practising mindfulness at home in the midst of the daily duties and distractions that a residential retreat is designed to avoid. This can be seen as a disadvantage, as we cannot escape our everyday entanglements, or as an advantage, as we have an opportunity to practise mindfulness in the midst of our ordinary lives.
The Buddha says that mindfulness practice (satipatthana) is meant to be lived. It is not a special, esoteric spiritual practice that we occasionally visit. It is a way of life founded on mindfulness, the felt continuity of awareness through our everyday activities, and clear understanding, the wisdom that arises from that awareness. How can we measure our progress in mindfulness practice? In the way that we live our ordinary lives.
Sometimes retreat participants raise doubts about how their retreat experiences relate to life in the “real world.” In a virtual retreat this question does not arise, as the retreat itself happens in the real world, the world of our everyday struggles, joys and sorrows. In this retreat you get to choose for yourself how you will engage with the practice. You may set everything else aside and focus on formal practice, just as you would in a residential retreat. You may simply participate in the formal sessions provided by the virtual retreat structure and spend the rest of your time practising mindfulness in everyday activities. You may choose a path between these two. The choice is yours.
For example, you may wish to create a schedule for physical activities such as bodywork and regular walks. You may choose a diet suitable to intensive practice, such as is normally found in residential retreats. You may want to set specific times for going to bed at night and rising in the morning.
It will be helpful to include the members of your household in your retreat by letting them know what you are doing and what you need to support your practice. This may include having a space to yourself where you can practise meditation. You may wish to discuss your degree of social engagement during the retreat. You may wish to make special preparations regarding shopping and food preparation. Or you may be happy to continue in your current domestic arrangements and simply add your retreat participation to them, letting them mix naturally.
In any event, you are the creator of your own retreat. Do not be trapped by perfectionism. Do what you can in the circumstances you find yourself. Keep in mind that a domestic retreat has its own special difficulties and its own special opportunities. Please prepare for the difficulties as best you can while taking advantage of the opportunities.
This retreat is being organised by Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sanctuary (SBS), which is a Theravāda Buddhist monastery and meditation centre. It follows Buddhist tradition in that it sees the dhamma to be of such great value that it cannot be bought or sold, it can be transmitted and received only as gift. This is dāna, which in the Pali language means “giving” or “gift.” In this spirit, SBS and Patrick are offering his teaching on this retreat as a gift. You are encouraged to return this gift in the form of financial support. As a gift is not a payment for service, the amount you choose to give is entirely up to you. Giving dāna is a declaration of mutual respect between giver and receiver, and a practical way of supporting the cultivation of Buddha Dhamma.
You can offer dāna to SBS and Patrick by:
(1) CASH/CHEQUE or LOCAL/FOREIGN BANK DRAFT or TELEGRAPHIC TRANSFER
Name of bank: Maybank Berhad
Address: No. 1 & 3, Jalan Medan Saujana 2, Medan Saujana, 34600 Kamunting, Perak, Malaysia.
Name of a/c: TIMS (SBS) Project Fund
A/c No.: 508300104239
SWIFT code: MBBEMYKL
Once donated, kindly provide the scanned copy or screenshot of the deposit slips for fund transfer/deposit/cheque /bank draft/telegraphic transfer/credit card payments, with your name, contact no. & address clearly stated, via any of the following:
WhatsApp: +6011-1601 1198
Please state the following as reference: “Dana for Patrick Kearney’s Virtual Retreat”.
Your dana is much appreciated. It contributes greatly to the success of Sāsanārakkha Buddhist Sanctuary and Patrick for the prolongation of the Buddhasāsana.