2019 Annual Retreat: The Path of Freedom and Goodness
A Mindfulness Retreat with Brother Michael Ciborski Thursday evening, November 7th to Sunday afternoon, November 10, 2019 OI/Aspirant Day begins Wed. evening, Nov. 6 American Bodhi Center Hempstead, TX (between Houston and Austin on US 290) sponsored by Mindfulness Practice Community of Houston **Registration opens July 15th, 2019**
The Path of Freedom and Goodness In this retreat we will slow down to take a deep and refreshing bath in the essentials of the Dharma. The cultivation of mindfulness in each activity will form the base of the retreat. We will practice conscious breathing, sitting and walking meditations, mindful eating, singing, deep relaxation and joyful togetherness. This will build a strong collective concentration, allowing us to deeply explore our theme through Dharma teachings, deep listening, care-filled discussions and personal reflections.
We will study the Noble Eight-Fold Path*, not as a mental or academic exercise, but as an introspective discovery of how each spoke on the wheel manifests in our own lives. Fundamental to the path of freedom and goodness is our capacity to be truly present in this very moment, and to draw nourishment from the wonders and beauty of Life.
Out of this concentration on reality, we steadily grow and deepen our understanding - of ourselves, of each other, of the planet, of life. Our views are the basis of our actions, and if cultivated well, they can lead us out of suffering to liberation. This wonderful possibility exists in every intention, thought, word, and deed. Let us find, within ourselves and as a community of practice, the understanding, courage, and compassion that is necessary to reshape our relationship with our people, and the Earth, our great mother.
With practice and insight, we can transcend the barrier between inner and outer, self and other, and our spiritual aspirations and embodied reality become one.
*A full reading on the Eight-Fold Path can be found in Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh.
About the teacher Michael is a lineage holding Dharma teacher in the tradition of the Venerable Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. (Michael’s Dharma name is Chan Trung Dao, True Middle Way.) He lived as a monk for seven years in Plum Village, France, and has worked intimately with Thich Nhat Hanh and the monastic community to organize, support and offer meditation retreats around the world. A skilled musician, he studied voice training and chanting of several European and Asian traditions and served for several years as an English language chant master in the monastery. He lives now in New Hampshire with his wife and children, where they are building a residential mindfulness practice community and education center for sustainable living.
Retreat Format This residential retreat is designed for both beginning and experienced practitioners. It will center on periods of sitting and walking meditation and Dharma talks by our teacher. There will be small-group Dharma discussions, meal meditations, and active, mindful work practice. Periods of silence will deepen and enrich the experience by allowing time for personal reflection.
Order of Interbeing members and aspirants Beginning on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 7, there will be an additional day for ordained Order of Interbeing members and aspirants. Ordained members are those who have formally received the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing. Aspirants are those who have begun to study with a Dharma teacher and mentor prior to formally receiving the Trainings.
American Bodhi Center https://americanbodhicenter.org/ The American Bodhi Center is a beautiful rural sanctuary developed by members of the Texas Buddhist Association. It is located on 500 acres just north of Hempstead, Texas. There are beautiful grounds to enjoy, two dormitories, a library/meditation hall, and a dining hall. The mission statement on their website reads: American Bodhi Center upholds Buddha’s teaching by promoting an engaged form of Buddhism through education, culture, philanthropy, and service to the public. Please note that smoking is not allowed on the ABC campus.