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Thread: Father and Son on retreat....

  1. #1

    Father and Son on retreat....

    First of all let me say hello to all of you! I don't post much anymore, but I do try to check in from time to time and read the forums. I just don't often have a contribution that would improve upon the silence.

    This post however is to ask all of you to wish me luck! I'm going on a weekend "Metta" retreat with my 15 year old son. Noble silence from Friday through Sunday. I don't know that either of us have stayed silent for that long, ever. Of course the part he is most nervous about isn't the silence, it's the 8 precepts we have agreed to observe. One of which is not eating after twelve noon. (I've promised him a large meal on Friday afternoon before we leave for the monastery...)

    Normally I resit our Friday evening Zazen when I get a free 90 minutes. Please forgive me if I skip this week, as I may need a break from the cushion after this weekend. Anyway, wish us luck! I'll give an update upon my return.

  2. #2
    Best of luck! Would love to hear about it when you get back.


  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Good Luck and Enjoy
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a pinch of salt

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  4. #4
    Sounds wonderful. Hope you have a good time!

    All the best & Gassho

  5. #5
    Sounds fantastic Chuck, enjoy and let us know how it all goes.

    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Yuba City, California, USA
    Good to hear from you Chuck. Hope it's a great experience for both of you.


    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  7. #7
    Thank you to you and your son



    I am only a novice priest. Do not just accept what I say but decide for yourself if it rings true.

  8. #8
    Great idea, thanks for sharing! Would love to hear a report of how it goes when you're finished!

  9. #9
    Chuck, this sounds wonderful; father and son exploring loving kindness together in a nurturing environment. I am sure this will be of tremendous benefit. I am Very happy for you and your son.

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Sarnia, Ontario Canada
    Blog Entries
    Wonderful, our thoughts go with you

    gassho, Shokai
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Remember; sages love mountains and mountains love sages.

  11. #11
    Wow, this sounds like a great experience for you to share together. Please let us know how it goes when you get the time. Enjoy!


  12. #12
    So we are back from our weekend of noble silence and Metta practice. All in all it was a great experience, and it’s nice to see teachers from different traditions working together. It’s not often, that I know of, to see monks from the Forest tradition teaching in Mahayana monasteries. As far as the teachings go, it was different. Definitely not what I’m used to. The Metta practice taught by these two monks is very intense. I thought we would sit on a cushion and do the typical verses, “self, revered, neutral, and difficult”, etc…But no, we spent the entire retreat just focusing on personal metta and it was done in a very methodical process. They also broke up the sitting with quite a bit of walking meditation (at one point I was in front of the line, and yes…apparently I was walking to slow…..damned Soto Zen Buddhists!) They also threw in some standing meditation and we were even encouraged to take a nap on Saturday afternoon! That was pleasant. Don’t get me wrong, there was also a sitting o’ plenty. If any of you are familiar with Chinese Buddhism you’ll know that the cushions are about half the height of a zafu. After two or three 30 minute sessions you really start to miss the zafu if that’s what you’re used too. So, with the permission of the teacher(s), I doubled up! It wasn't exactly right, but it was much closer to home.

    It was a great experience over all, not something I would want to commit to as a full time practice, but definitely worth trying. The best part of the retreat was having my son with me. We both share a pretty similar outlook on life, so even in noble silence, a certain look from one of us, and we'd both crack a smile. And there were plenty of little inside jokes for us to share in that manner.

    One of the high lights of the weekend was an instruction in “pre sitting stretches”. According to the teacher Bikkhu Kai Yin, these 12 stretches were created by a Buddhist master who was also highly disciplined in yoga. I don’t know where that story comes from or whether or not it’s true, but the stretches seemed to be perfectly designed for zazen. I’ll definitely try to implement them into my routine whenever possible. I’ll be in that full lotus in no time! Well maybe not, but I’ll be much more willing to try it more often.

    Anyway, that’s my review of the metta retreat. Perhaps Charlie will share his take on it all, since I believe he’ll be joining us here at Tree Leaf.

  13. #13
    Thanks for the feedback - glad it was a rewarding experience.



  14. #14
    Thanks for the update, Chuck!

  15. #15
    Awesome experience...thank you for sharing it!


  16. #16
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Yuba City, California, USA
    Sounds like you made the most of it Chuck. I still think it's cool you did it with your son. That makes it extra awesome in my book.

    Any chance you could find the stretches they were doing to post? I for one would like to try some different pre-sitting stretches.


    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  17. #17
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Diego County, California
    Sounds nice. I'm glad you both had a nice time.
    迎 Geika

  18. #18
    Thanks for the update Chuck, I am glad you had a great experience.

    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  19. #19
    Sounds like a lovely experience with your son, thank you for sharing Chuck.
    Gassho, Jakudo
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    It all begins when we say, I. Everything that follows is illusion.
    "Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment."

  20. #20
    sounds like a good time.

  21. #21
    Yeah Chris, maybe Charlie can demonstrate the stretches. He can actually do them correctly, when they tell me to straighten my leg as far as I can, it's a sad sad sad sight......But I think we should be able to put something up that shoes how they're done.

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