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As the end of another week approaches, it’s always a good moment to take stock of things. It’s the end of yet another week of lockdown for many of us across the world - another week of re-adjusting to the new normal: of social distancing but increasing online connection. And it’s vital in making that transition that we bring all the Dharmic tools we can with us so that our online connections are rich and satisfying.
So for this home retreat - Being Divine Online - we will be focusing on the Brahma Viharas (often translated as divine abodes or dwelling-places), beautiful states of mind, with which we can perfume our own lives, and the lives of others, for the better: metta (loving-kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy) and upekkha (equanimity). We will be re-visiting some wonderful material from a Rainy Season retreat in 2015 led by the experienced Ratnavandana, who has over forty years of practice in the Brahma Viharas.
How you might approach this home retreat
Conscious that everyone is in different situations - with different living arrangements, different amounts of time available, living in different time zones - this home retreat is not prescriptive! We hope that you will use the material we are providing as suits you best.
You can find all the retreat materials here including a practice diary
Download a copy of Living With Kindness (ebook) courtesy of Windhorse Publications
We have simply suggested a structure for each day - but feel free to dip into the material as feels appropriate for you. The typical day includes a short introduction to the theme, together with a guided meditation led by Ratnavandana and a mantra. On a couple of the days there is also the added bonus of a Dharma talk.
Today, day 1, you might like to spend some time figuring out how you are going to take part - how much time do you have, what supports do you need, what is your wish for this retreat.
You might find Ratnavandana’s retreat guide a useful starting point
It can also be a good support to have someone in to check in with about the material so you might want to persuade some of your friends to join you! Our team will be blogging daily on the Community Toolkit space, sharing our reflections on the materials and how we are getting on, so you are welcome to join us there and share your thoughts, comments, questions too.
+Follow the Community Toolkit to stay connected throughout the week
We are delighted that Ratnavandana will be joining us for a live Q+A about the Brahma Viharas this coming Sunday (26th April) at USA 8am PST / Mexico: 10am / USA 11am EST / UK & IE 4pm / Europe 5pm CET / India 8.30pm so do join us if you can - the details on how to join are on the home retreat space. If you can’t make it - just to let you know that we will be recording the conversation and will share it later.
And don’t forget to come along to our twice daily online meditations on all the week days of this home retreat.
Looking forward to being divine online together!