Two days till the International Urban Retreat begins
On Thu, 7 November, 2013 - 00:23
Only two days to go till the start of the 2013 Triratna International Urban Retreat!
This week, Triratna Buddhist Centres across the world will be encouraging their sanghas to strengthen their practice of metta (loving kindness), practising intensively in the midst of daily life. The event is also running online, with daily teachings and led meditations from Subhadramatiand Vajragupta. From Monday onwards, there’ll be daily short talks from Vessantara and news videos from Clear Vision.
We asked Vajragupta, is it really possible to go on retreat online?
“To be honest, I can be a bit of a net sceptic, and worry that it’s just going to be another distraction from ‘real’ practice. But, actually, it’s up to you. You could end up idly surfing the Dharma or you could really engage with it and go deeper.
Of course it’s not the same as practising with a sangha (spiritual community) at a retreat centre or urban Buddhist Centre, where you have face-to-face contact with people that can allow real friendship to emerge. That’s what you really need, to develop, express, and test your metta.
But I’ve noticed that the online Urban Retreat does give some people a very significant sense of connection too; especially people who are far from a Centre, or whose Centre is far from others. It helps them feel part of the worldwide Triratna community, in an inspiring way.” You’ll be able to see that in the way they post responses to the materials we’ll be posting.
Any words of advice for how to engage with this event online?
“The whole idea is to intensify your practice for a week, gaining confidence that it IS possible to practise the Buddha’s teachings even with a busy life and responsibilities.
Don’t take too much on, and don’t spend your week online! Just choose one or two things and do them as best you can. For example, you could do the daily led meditation, or the daily practice reflection from Subhadramati – about taking the practice off your meditation cushion and into your life.”