Working together for a better world...
A quick note to say that the weekend retreat "Sitting with Friends" just finished and it went very well, indeed. There were only five of us in total--- Aramati, Debbie, Lauren, Ian and myself--- but I think everybody found it was a very comfortable and mutually supportive group. Ian deserves the lion's share of praise for this, not only for stepping in for Tom who wasn't able to make it, but also for bringing his own unique spirit of compassion and humility to his position as retreat leader. Indeed, I am not sure Ian would like to identify himself as a leader at all and might prefer some less exalted title such as facilitator. Nevertheless, his long experience as a practitioner and his profound commitment to the dharma were things that every participant was able to witness and benefit from. He certainly carried the influence of two his teachers, the late John Crook and Hogan Roshi. Ian used Crook's method of working with koans in pairs. And Hogan Roshi's spirit of gentle non-conformism and non-authoritarian guidance seemed to provide him with endless inspiration for this retreat. We were very fortunate to have Ian lead us.
As always with any event, some people who were hoping to attend the retreat were forced to drop out for one reason or another. This is regrettable, but fortunately we hope to do more retreats of this sort in future and we certainly want Ian to come back as often as he would like. So join us next time if you can!
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