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The purpose of Chan practice is to clarify our mind and see into our self-nature. To do this, we must clean up the impurities that make our minds muddled, cloudy, and opaque. These impurities are the illusory thoughts, or wrong perceptions, which we attach to, causing ourselves suffering and distress.

Our self-nature is the wisdom that is characteristic of a buddha, an awakened person. Actually, at heart, all people possess this wisdom, as our very own nature is identical with awakening. If we can leave behind our attachment to thoughts and perceptions, then we will wake up to the wisdom within us, and be able to resolve the problem of our stress and anxiety.

On this Chan retreat, you will be presented with two methods of Chan meditation; silent illumination and huatou. You will learn how to use these methods to cultivate wisdom on intensive retreat as well as in daily life. It's up to you to choose one as your main method.

If you would like to learn more about huatou practice, read Shattering The Great Doubt by Chan Master Sheng Yen.

If you would like to learn more about silent illumination practice, read
The Method of No Method
by Chan Master Sheng Yen.
"Don't worry about whether or not
you become enlightened — simply pick up
the huatou."

Huatou in Chinese, literally means "the origin of words," or that which precedes words and language. This refers to the state of the mind before the arising of conceptualization or, more precisely, before the arising of a single thought. Thus, huatou is the source of all words and of all thoughts, the fundamental nature of the mind.

But, it is also a method that we use to point directly at this mind while putting aside all other concerns. When we investigate huatou, we utilize questions such as: "What is my original face?" and "What is Wu?" These puzzling, seemingly illogical questions produce a deep sense of self-questioning which is called "the doubt sensation." If you can succeed in penetrating this doubt, you will discover that which you have always had.
A "Beginner's mind" is a mind open to experiencing life in the present moment, free from preconceived notions and expectations -- a mind open to genuine understanding and self-realization. If you are new to meditation practice, or have never participated in a retreat, this is an ideal way to begin your spiritual journey.

In addition to sessions of seated meditation, this retreat features interactive workshops:

The Art of Sitting

Quintessential instructions on seated meditation in the Chan tradition, also teaches various ways to massage the body. An opportunity for students to ask questions and difficulties relating to practice.

The Art of Walking

Teaches three forms of walking meditation methods: slow walking, fast walking, and natural walk. Very often we take walking for granted. But the art of walking can show us how to open up new possibilities in our experience of the world.

The Art of Questioning

Explores the fundamental question of who we are as human beings through an introduction to the Chan Gong'an (Japanese: Koan) method, which confronts the most fundamental questions of our existence. The quest for meaning is the drive behind all Buddhist practitioners. The format of this workshop is dialogue and discussion.

The Art of Perception

Introduces the Chan direct contemplation method. Practitioners meditate only on sound or sight itself, before judgment, comparison or conceptualization even begins to arise. The format of this workshop may be creative drawing, sound exploration, or dialogue.
Dedicate your weekend to practice. On this retreat, you have the chance to engage in a relaxing schedule of mindful activity from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

Harmonize your body and mind, by engaging in healthy living and Chan meditation — balancing all of the five aspects of diet, sleep, body, breath, and mind. Either in stillness or in motion, cultivate a clear and stable mind amidst all that you do. This is the very essence of Chan practice.

Settling into the weekend routine, you will experience greater relaxation of body and calmness of mind. Hear Dharma talks about meditation methods as well as basic principles of Buddhadharma and the unique approach of the Chan school. In this way, you'll be able to establish a solid foundation of understanding both methods and concepts of practice.
"Silently and serenely, forgetting all words,
clearly and vividly, it appears before you."

The above verse comes from "The Inscription on Silent Illumination," a poem composed by Master Hongzhi Zhengjue of the 12th century Caodong (Soto) lineage of the Chan school. This verse is a guideline for a method of practice, which he called Silent Illumination With this simple method, one cultivates relaxation and awareness of the state of body, mind, and environment. With the settling of wandering thoughts and conceptualization, there is "silence"; with the emergence of clarity, there is "illumination."
The aims of Bodhisattva Precepts are: to guide society in the right direction; to accept all sentient beings with equal compassion; to accomplish Bodhi mind through helping sentient beings; and to encourage sentient beings to aspire to Bodhi mind.

The deterioration of social values ​​is caused by defilement of the mind, and the undue exploitation of the natural environment is due to greed and ignorance. The causes of every type of destruction are skewed thinking and viewpoints. The Bodhisattva Path is a transforming power that enables people to explore and purify their inner self, to carry positive energy to society, and to promote peace and harmony in the world.

Receiving the Bodhisattva Precepts gives us an opportunity to cultivate the supreme Bodhi mind, and this opportunity is a precious gift to ourselves, to others, and to the world.
We are committed to provide a free space for those who are keen in Chan/Zen meditation pcartice

If you find it hard to practise on you own with whatever reasons may be, this will be the opportunity for you to practise in a group.

Chan teaching given by Gou Gu followed by Q & A session

Come on Saturday 13t Feb 2016

28, the avenue
London, UK NW6 7YD

Tel: 07931 698730

Settle your mind.
Free your heart.
Be with yourself.
DDRC offers an educational program for children, in conjunction with our monthly Day of Stillness retreats.
Fee: $12.00

2-4 (must be accompanied by a parent for the entire day)
5-12 years
13-16 (NEW teen program)
Avenue: Dharma Drum Retreat Center
Address: 184 Quannacut Road, Pine Bush, New York, 12566.
Phone: (845) 744-8114
Fax: (845) 744-8483
Email: ddrc@dharmadrumretreat.org
Registration Process
(Register early, as space is limited)

Register yourself online for the Day of Stillness Retreat/http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/retreats/register.php
Register your child by
- writing to kids@dharmadrumretreat.org NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS!
- or calling Buffe Laffey at 845-744-8114
If this will be the first time for your child to attend the program, please fill in this application form (http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/download/CHILDRENS-PROGRAM-PROTECTED-APPLICATION.doc), and send it to the email address above.
Give your self one day for meditation — a day to still the mind. Learn how to apply methods of meditation and mindfulness while sitting, walking, exercising, working, eating, and all other activities. The simple and relaxed schedule allows you to settle your mind while at the same time allowing you to maintain a constant silent awareness of your every activity.

This retreat also includes brief Dharma talks, guided meditations, and a review of basic meditation methods such as breath awareness and total mind-body relaxation.

Most people find that attending these retreats regularly helps renew the strength of their daily practice. These retreats are held once each month.

Our Children's Program is scheduled to coincide with our Day of Stillness retreat. If you have children, you can bring them for the day while you attend the retreat.

Date: Saturday, January 23, 2016
Begins: check-in 8:45am
Ends: 5:00 pm
Fee: $25 (includes lunch)
Register: register online/ http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/retreats/register.php
Avenue: Dharma Drum Retreat Center
Address: 184 Quannacut Road, Pine Bush, New York, 12566.
Phone: (845) 744-8114
Fax: (845) 744-8483
Email: ddrc@dharmadrumretreat.org
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