Bristol Buddhist Centre

Urban Retreat Tips – The Power of Intention

On Sun, 15 March, 2015 - 09:59
jvalamalini's picture
jvalamalini
What is your wish for this retreat?

  • Spend time forming a clear, simple wish – eg “I’d like to be more friendly”, “I’d like to stay more soft and open”, “I’d like to be emotionally honest with myself”
  • The essence of practice is to remember this wish, and to ‘stop and real-ise’ – connect – with your body, with what’s going round your head, with your heart. Where are you in relation to your wish? Where are you in relation to the mandala?

How will you remember?

  • Place your wish on the shrine AND in at least one place you’ll see it at home
  • Add to it if necessary – it may grow during the week
  • Have a special candle at home to remind you of your aspiration candle at the Centre
  • Place things in places to remind you – eg. a Buddha by your bed where you’ll see it on waking, flowers by your computer to remind you of the colour and beauty of our shrine, a photo of our retreat at work, a quote on the fridge, a poem on your shrine, a glass gem on your dashboard or in your pocket, a coloured thread to remind you of a Jina round your wrist….
  • Use triggers to remind you to return to awareness and think of metta – eg. Opening a door, fastening your shoes, waiting for the kettle to boil, drinking tea, seeing a tree

What else would support your practice and make this week a retreat?

  • Reduce input – give up TV, or internet, or following the news, – altogether or at least for certain hours of the day
  • Meditate daily - or for longer – or at least more often
  • Explain to your family, friends or colleagues what you’re doing and what to expect of you this week
  • Chant mantras - in the shower, in the car, out walking, as well as at your shrine
  • Spend time tuning in with the retreat at The Buddhist Centre Online

Don’t necessarily try to do everything – choose what will work for you, and create your own ideas.
Be forgiving if you don’t keep to your intentions as well as you hoped. Know nothing’s spoiled, it’s always fine to come back, refine your intention if appropriate, and start over again.
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