In a couple of weeks I will be going off to sit my butt down on a small round cushion for 7 days of intense meditation.

I say intense, because despite the appearance of not much going on other than a room full of people sitting down and staring at the floor, believe me….there is a lot of stuff going on.

Zen Buddhism these retreats are known as sesshin which translates roughly as: touching the heart mind.

Last April I participated in a sesshin with the Sydney Zen Centre and it was one of the most difficult and penetrating things I have ever done (You can read about my experiences here). It was also exceedingly worthwhile.

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Its as easy and as difficult as sitting down and just being.

Packing is easy. Under one arm I will clamp a small carry bag with some clean underwear & simple loose fitting clothes, a toiletries bag, and a few hi carb treats to break into in case of existential or hypoglycaemic emergency. Under the other arm, a sleeping bag and a pillow.

Long seeking it through others,
I was far from reaching it.
Now I go by myself;
I meet it everywhere.
It is just I myself,
And I am not itself.
Understanding this way,
I can be as I am.
Dongshan

That’s about it. Left behind in a small Tupperware container under my bed will be Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Donald Trump, TV dramas, politics, to-do lists, 6 PM telemarketing calls, road rage, war, global warming, China, Russia, fire ants, plastic packaging, and ( if I can fit it in)….my wristwatch.

Whilst my last Sesshin was in an achingly beautiful and remote rural bush setting, this one will be an urban retreat much closer to home. It will be interesting to see if the city-scape ambiance gives a different flavour to my experience.

Anyways, I will sit down with no expectations other than I that will miss Kelly, and Juno, and coffee. Of course not all with the same intensity.

Boy I hope they serve coffee.

Posted by Ian Miller

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