Registration opens for Triratna 2013 International Urban Retreat
On Sat, 5 October, 2013 - 06:19
Plans are advancing for Triratna’s second International Urban Retreat, which will take place worldwide from November 9th to 16th 2013. Online registration has just opened and preliminary retreat resources are starting to appear on the event’s webspace - soon to include a real-time map of who’s taking part around the globe .
The last Urban Retreat was held in 2011, when over 500 people participated online and hundreds more at over 50 Buddhist Centres and groups across the world - this time we’re expecting more!
The idea of the “urban retreat” was pioneered by Triratna’s Sheffield Buddhist Centre, and consists of a week of talks, teachings, led meditations, and other resources, all designed to help participants practice the Buddha’s teachings more effectively. Crucially, it’s not necessary to actually ‘go’ anywhere to take part: the emphasis is all on learning to practice in the midst of everyday life. It’s open to all and the event is totally free.
The theme of the coming retreat - both online and at Centres - is “Blazing like the Sun”: exploring how our hearts can be more overflowing with kindness, compassion, confidence, and love of life; how we can find the “freedom of heart” that is loving-kindness. The main focus will be a Buddhist meditation practice known as the metta bhavana, or the “development of loving kindness”. If you’ve not done this meditation before, we’ll be teaching it from scratch. Or, if you already know the practice, there will be teaching content designed to help you take it further.
The title itself is taken from the Ittivuttaka in the Pali Canon, where the Buddha compares metta to the sun, saying -
“Just as in the last month of the rainy season, in the autumn, when the sky is clear and free of clouds, the sun, on ascending, dispels the darkness of space and shines forth, bright and brilliant, even so, all these do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-release of loving-kindness… The mind-release of loving-kindness surpasses them and shines forth, bright and brilliant.”
If you’d like to take part, check out whether or not you’re near one of Triratna’s Buddhist Centres around the world and ask them whether or not they’re participating. If they are, that’s great - if not, the online version is open to anyone worldwide. We’ll be posting teachings daily – brief texts, short talks, and led meditations, and there’ll be the opportunity to share your reflections with other participants around the world.
The retreat runs every day for a week from Saturday 9th November to Saturday 16th. It will be best to start on the Saturday and follow the retreat each day. But if you can’t do that, just join in when you can. For more details, see the Urban Retreat space on The Buddhist Centre Online.
Twice during the retreat there’ll be a worldwide ‘Metta Wave’ meditation circling the globe over the course of 24 hours. We’re inviting all those planning to take part to mettawave [at] triratnadevelopment.org (subject: Metta%20Wave) (email us), now, a photograph of themselves - preferably actually waving! Plus a note of where they are in the world. All the photos will be merged into a ‘Metta Wave’ poster and made available as the retreat starts. Enjoy!