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Old 25-10-2018, 06:43 AM
Gem Gem is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 18,795
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On the first day meditation retreat, after taking vows and refuge and receiving the first instructions, one is able to meditate alone and attend group meditation only to learn the meditation principles and how to refine the practice.

Given that environment sectioned off from the 'outside world', one is immersed in the culture of the sangha which is underpinned by metta and guided by Buddhist values such as sila, refuge, the guidelines of the 8 fold path - and all the extenuating philosophy of the Pali Canon.

The meditation extends beyond the confines of the meditation cushion and the rigour of formal practice. One could say vipassana goes in, and metta comes out in all directions.

All the work, like cleaning rooms and cooking etc, is motivated by the happiness of others. When preparing a bed, doing so in service of the one who is coming, and when preparing the food, doing so for the well-being and delight of others; and work with single purpose: may all beings be happy.

It is often the case that things are done without care, or begrudgingly. But meditation is doing everything with care and compassion with as much fun as appropriate and practice everything.

When returning to the 'outside world', the environment 'out there' is very different from the sangha world. Distractions of 'real life' are still out there, but retreat gives an insight into the way to be and what to be motivated by: be happy and motivated in kindness.
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