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The last morning of the retreat found me with a mind full of reflections in the early morning double meditation, and a fair bit of energy released – I was dancing in my living room when I popped home for a few things after breakfast.
This was the day we’d been building up to – the day we met the Buddha! Ratnaguna introduced the Buddha Amitayus of the Guan Jing, the ‘Buddha beyond the Buddha’, the principle of Buddhahood which the Mahayana brings out so fully. He then led us in meditation, using readings from the sutra. Wow, when you’re trying to imagine a golden Buddha whose height is “a number of yojanas equal to the number of grains of sand in the River Ganges multiplied by sixty quintillion”, what is there to do but let go into boundless goldenness?
“When your mind creates the Buddha, your mind becomes the Buddha”
I’ve enjoyed the very relaxed atmosphere of our afternoons, people engaging with our collective creative project of depicting of the pure land, or just lounging on the sofas. And today it was as though the retreat fully came together as we assembled our various creations on the big canvas.
Certainly the evening felt very complete and satisfying. A good range of people were there – the handful of us who’ve been pretty fully on retreat together, and several of those who’ve dropped in at times during the week. Ratnaguna drew out some of the parallels he sees between Bhante’s presentation of the Dharma and what we’ve been doing, which tied the retreat up very nicely and, after offering our pure land to the shrine, we did a fullsome seven-fold puja to end our retreat.