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Thread: Retreat Comments

  1. #1

    Retreat Comments


    Well, it is quarter after three and I have just bowed out of the retreat. I would like to begin by congratulating Jundo for the success of the retreat thus far, and thanking him for all the preparation that went into making it possible. It was quite a positive experience. I experience some technical difficulties at fist this morning that had me a bit concerned, but they cleared up just before the retreat began, and were fine from there on (all were probably due to the old age of my laptop and not the server or host).

    At your end Jundo, the audio and visual were good throughout, though twitchy from time to time (again, probably due to my old laptop). The sound was not lost during the Oryoki chants; it was only just a bit lower than usual (I just had to turn up the volume a bit).

    At my end, things also went well, though this would be a very long post if I listed all the errors (AKA non-errors?) I made throughout! Haha ops: . I am rather pleased I was alone as I’m sure I would have thrown everyone else out of sequence!

    The greatest challenge for me, being my first time attempting anything like this, was keeping up; turning the pages of my chant book without missing a beat, finding the appropriate chant quick enough, and taking all the proper steps during the Oryoki meal while attempting not to spill anything, feed myself, and watch to see what stage everyone else was at. At a few points I simply found myself laughing as I broke perhaps every Oryoki rule trying to play catch-up… I think I could have used more time there, but that is probably more an expression of how green I am to the ritual!

    Anyways, I thank you again Jundo, and all those who I was sitting with. Enjoy the Samu and the rest of the retreat.


    PS- I think my cat also enjoyed the retreat as she curiously spent half of it curled up napping on my chant book. I had to bring her bed over so that she could lay beside me for the other half. :roll:

  2. #2
    Reposted in new topic:

    I sat until after the first Dharma talk. I had to go pick up my step-son from an activity then had too much going on in the house. Jundo, there was sound during the Oryoki. I just had to turn up the volume. Then when you said you were turning on the sound it got real load again, so it was not completely muted.

    I enjoyed the part I sat for and will definitely repeat beginning to end soon.

    PS to original: I received good audio and video with my aircard after all.

  3. #3
    Hello all!
    Thank you Jundo for well organised retreat. Thank you all participants.
    My legs and back hurts but the mind is feather like. Thank you!


  4. #4
    Gassho All!
    Whew my knees are done but it was wonderful.

    Jundo that was perfect. perfectly what it was - Thankyou!

    Audio and vid were fine for me through out most. Only catch i had was during Oryoki and it cleared up quickly. Nice to see you all on there too... if i got a bit lost i just snuck a quick peek

    Kelly i had the the same problems too, i was still unpacking and i looked up and everyone was a step or 5 ahead. i was caught up @ seconds though ops:


  5. #5
    Thank you Jundo and everyone else.
    My Samu started early at around 2:00 but was able to rejoin at 4:00.

    This was excellent. Looking forward to the next one.


  6. #6
    Hi Guys,

    Thank you to everybody who sat the Retreat, and those who will do so with the recorded version ... ... t-day.html

    It takes a good group to make this work, supporting each other.

    We had about 33 people most of the day, and still 22 people at the end who sat 'live' (not including Keith, Joy and Jane who sat with me in person and deserve special thanks ... your lovely voices made the chanting almost sweet harmony).

    A lovely day.

    Gassho, Jundo

  7. #7
    Well guys. I sat the whole retreat. I started at 7:30 and just finished. I had some major problems with the stream, so I sat the most of the retreat myself. I timed my self, following the schedule and the Chant book. For the Darhma talks I randomly chose a blog talk I hadn't seen. I recorded most of it.

    I thought ustream wasn't working so I cut my wonderful Fukan zazengi chant short.

    Gassho Will

  8. #8

    I was able to drop in a couple of times for a look. It was really exciting just knowing that it was going on live at that very moment. I can't wait to find a slot to do the whole thing :!: :!: :!: Congratulations to everyone who sat live, looks like there were quite a few (around 30 when I was there).


  9. #9
    Hi All,

    Thanks for putting on this retreat which I enjoyed immensely. I sat all the retreat apart from the Oryoki. That would be near impossible for me because of my physical condition (weak arms and hands due to muscular dystrophy). I found ways to adapt for the rest, so I enjoyed the Dharma talks, zazen and kinhin. Here in the UK I got an echo with about a 1 second delay in the stream during the chanting that made it very difficult to follow , though strangely enough the echo wasn't present the rest of the time or for the Dharma talks. There was silence at the start of the second talk until I figured out that I could restore the sound by reconnecting. The time difference made it run from 3pm to 11.30 pm which was ok too.

    Jundo, thanks again for all the work you put in to enable this to happen,


  10. #10
    Hi Jundo and Everybody!

    Thanks for all the great work you put into the retreat. I managed to sit through the whole thing, though after the first five zazen periods I switched from full Lotus to legs just told me to! The "high five" at the end was hilarious....isn't it absolutely amazing what technology allows us to do these days? A few times during the retreat, one of our cats (they each took turns) lay right next to me, trying to exchange a bit of body warmth. I tried todo everything by the book, however during Kinhin my bladder forced me to be mindful of excess body fluids



  11. #11
    Hi Jundo,

    thanks for the great event. I was pretty exhausted at 1 AM, but the Buddha on my altar seemed to look happier than usual this morning (and the bathroom looks improved too).

    My stiff hips are still major challenge though and during the third round my Zazen included probably more and weirder positions than the Kamasutra.

    The quality of the transmission (video, not Dharma) deteriorated rapidly after a flawless two or three hours with sound often down for several seconds or even complete breakdown of connection. Seemed to stabilize only a bit towards the end. My Mac suffered from jerky Flash playback recently but this seemed clearly a server problem. No big deal, I checked the timing with a watch.

    Thanks again to all participants, absolutely flawless show. Looking forward to a sequel.


  12. #12
    Member Martin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Wherever the next mediation is. Every now and then I make it back to Norfolk, England.

    Thank you for organising and leading the retreat, and to all who took part. I am sure that events like this don't "just happen", it must have involved a lot of work and planning. I am so grateful.

    I sat the bulk of the retreat, though family commitments meant that I had to do so in two sessions, one on the Saturday evening (so I was live with you, but out of synch) and one on the Sunday morning in a different location from a different computer. I decided to miss the Oryoki meal, though, which was a shame, but I had a family to feed and I felt that attempting to partake in their meal and the retreat meal at the same time was impractical. I look forward to catching up some time.

    My retreat got off to a bad start because I was so excited about getting down to it that I dropped my (resin) Buddha figure as I was taking it into the room where the computer is, and his head came off and went rolling across the floor. If you see the Buddha, kill the Buddha? Killed him now anyway. I should have used a stone like you. Still, a bit of super glue will fix it. Other than that I have no technical problems to report apart perhaps from a bizarre moment in the first kinhin when my computer announced that it was "buffering" and all of a sudden you completely disappeared from the screen whilst everyone else kept on walking. I knew your powers are great, but not that they are that great....

    Comments? I thought it was brilliant. Really great. But I learned that whilst I can sit Burmese for 20 to 30 minutes ok, doing it repeatedly still hurts! Ouch ouch ouch. Not just for that reason, but also because of family and work constraints I hope that whilst you may be planning longer retreats, you will continue to do retreats that are either as short or shorter or at least still accessible for those who cannot make the whole retreat. So I suppose my one suggestion would be to maybe have the opening and closing sessions, or perhaps the closing session in particular, recorded in rather shorter time intervals so that those of us who are retreating "a la carte" can still open and close with you. This time the close was at the close of a two hour and a half hour session and for me, this time, that was fine as I was able to sit most of the retreat with you. But I can imagine that there might be occasions when I would only be able to sit for three or four hours, and it would be great to close off what I can do with the closing ceremony (obviously that would only work for those not sitting live!). Or you may think that this is just too much of a western consumerist pick and mix approach to retreats?

    Once again, thank you so much.



  13. #13
    Hey Martin!

    Spooky cats broke the resin buddha intended to be used for the retreat the night before....impermanence there you go. Or maybe it's just a sign that we should all welcome Jesus into our hearts!

    Gassho and AAAAAAAmen,


  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin

    My retreat got off to a bad start because I was so excited about getting down to it that I dropped my (resin) Buddha figure as I was taking it into the room where the computer is, and his head came off and went rolling across the floor.
    I remember a decapitated Buddha sculpture mentioned on a blog somewhere, I think it was Jundo's. So you were probably just following tradition. (Darn – mine is brass!)

  15. #15
    Thank you Jundo for offering this retreat to us. This was my first retreat and I sat live with you guys for the whole duration. I started in quarter-lotus but quickly moved to burmese and eventually seiza. I need to keep working with my knees to get them more flexible! The oryoki was challenging to keep up with but definitely added to the "authenticity" of the experience.

    I especially enjoyed the chanting (Heart Sutras and Sandokai in particular!). I'm glad that it's available recorded as I'm sure on other Saturdays I'll replay the beginning chanting and zazen periods - that section will make a nice weekly service.

    It was a great feeling to see 30 other participants on the screen and to know that we were all participating across the globe as one. I'll be looking forward to other events in the future.

  16. #16
    Thanks again, everyone, for a lovely day of Zazen. We all support each other in our sitting, wherever we are. I heard from several people, not members of this forum but who sit with the daily "sit-a-longs", who wrote for the first time because of the Retreat. Very nice.

    Just to mention, especially for a long sitting, nothing wrong from changing positions, even (heresy of heresy) breaking out a chair or the like if the body starts to protest. Learning to sit with some discomfort is very good (even necessary) practice, but so is moving to not strain the body or do damage.

    In fact, modifying and adapting any of the practices (Oryoki, Bowing) etc. in order to fit our physical condition is, of course, fine. In fact, I just wrote this to somebody who wants to sit with us but who has a back problem that keeps the person reclining in bed most of the day....

    "Please do your Zazen sitting, on your belly, standing on one leg or upside down. It does not matter if that is what you must do."

    Oh, and you can go to the tosu (bathroom) during Kinhin! ;-)

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - Because this may raise the subject again, my stance (pun intended) is that Lotus Positions are best because of the balance they allow, Burmese next ... and one should not give up on those just because you think you "just can't". It takes some time and stretching. That being said, if you really have a physical need, you can use a bench, Seiza, chair, etc.

  17. #17
    Oh, before I forget ... I did do a talk several months ago on broken buddhas. But it had some recording problems. I will talk on the subject again tomorrow maybe, cause it is important to my heart ...

    If you say that broken buddha is broken, well ...

    Gassho, J

  18. #18
    Is there a direct link to the chant book? I plan on sitting the retreat 'on demand' over the course of the next few days.


  19. #19
    Hi Eric,

    Great, just drop all thought of here there now then, and we are all together with you!

    The Chant Book is here ...

    and some pointers for the Retreat are here ...

    Let us know how it goes.

    Gassho, Jundo

  20. #20
    Thanks Jundo. I plan on getting started today. With my crazy work schedule, I have no 'full' days off between now and the new year. It will have to be a piecemeal retreat.


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