Our retreat was perfectly our retreat, but that doesn't stop me from wondering about it. As a result, I have some questions (and maybe others do too).
How did the schedule of our retreat differ from a schedule at a live residential retreat, such as if I went to a monastery somewhere? More or fewer breaks? Longer or shorter breaks? Longer or shorter sessions?
And what do people in those retreats do during their breaks? I can't imagine they sit around and chat or sing camp songs, since there is this focus on silence. At home I mostly rested, slept or ate, but I think that if there were people around I might have behaved differently somehow. I am just imagining going to a retreat somewhere with a bunch of new people and not being "able" or "allowed" to talk with and get to know them. You know, partaking in Buddhist bonding activities. Surely, residential retreats have a way of handling this, right?
Do other retreats have the same focus on samu activities, or is that unique to here? I enjoyed Aitken's chapter on samu when he said everybody, with no exceptions, top to bottom in the monastery, had to go out and non-do samu.
I believe you mentioned that you would have other Buddhist priests review this retreat and the whole Jukai process so that they would deem it to be worthy, or something like that. Did this happen, and if so what did they think?
I can't help but think that a retreat sitting in close physical proximity (even as I drop ideas about physical and proximity) would be even more powerful than doing it in all by myself (OK, in virtual proximity with others). There's power in numbers, power in actual togetherness, so I am considering doing such an event. Thus I wonder.