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At one point there were 10 people coming on the Saturday and 11 on the Sunday. In the event I had 2 people on the Saturday and 6 on the Sunday two of whom had not booked in advance!
I was a bit nervous leading a retreat for just two people, as I thought with so few people it might fall very flat.
In the event Saturday was a lovely day. We did a mixture of sharing, meditating, chanting, and personal reflection. The weather was lovely so in addition to these more conventional retreat activities we also walked in the garden and made a joint collage from materials found in the garden. We also had the teabreaks, lunch, supper and some of the sharing outside. With so few people some how there is more time for everything so although we did lots of different activities everything was at a leisurely pace. Both participants said it was lovely to slow down and do things slowly and mindfully. One participant was staying overnight so after supper we went for a walk and then had an evening service finishing about 9pm.
Sunday also went very well. Six people is a lovely number as it is small enough to have plenty of time for questions and discussion but enough people to bounce ideas off each other. One person suffered from hay fever so we were more indoors than on the Sunday. Three of the retreatants stayed for Sunday service and supper, and Ng and family also turned up for Sunday service. The person who was going to be celebrant was not there and so I was leading that too. I had been thinking of doing a very simple Sunday service as neither of the two retreatants had been to a Buddhist service before. So I felt challenge to find a middle way between Ng and family who are old hands and would expect everything to be done just as it used to be and the two completely new people.
Caroline had been around to help with food on the Saturday, but I also had to do lunch and supper on my own on Sunday in addition to everything else. Although I was tired, after all that, I was really pleased with the way things had gone.
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