From Hungry Ghost to Being Human
…Without Going Through Hell
“We must be willing to let go
of the life we planned so as to
have the life that is waiting for us.”
~ Joseph Campbell ~
‘Being Human’ is an intensive 5-day residential retreat exploring ‘Buddhist’ principles and practices that cultivate a more personally contented experience of everyday living.
‘Being Human’ is an encouragement to lift the veil and break the spell of universal cravings, aversions and confusions that so often manifest as addictions, compulsions; and harmful thinking and behaviours.
This is not a silent retreat but there will be periods of quietude including one complete day of silence.
The next ‘Being Human’ retreats will be : see Schedule.
Healing the Heart-Mind
This retreat includes a progressive investigation of self-views – through the traditional practices of Loving-kindness and Forgiveness – supporting the letting-go of hatred and ill-will for ourselves and for others. We will learn to incline our minds towards kindness… there is no finer mindfulness!
It is important to note that you do not have to be ‘a Buddhist’ to practice any of the principles discussed, and meditation practices explored.
You should be kind to be a Buddhist;
but you do not have to be a Buddhist to be kind!
Each retreatant will be given a personal set of Tibetan Prayer Flags. One side of each flag is decorated with wood block prints of auspicious mantras, syllables and prayers – the other side is blank.
- Throughout the 5-days, as we progress through our retreat, we are invited to write the names – starting with our own name – of all the many people that we want to send the blessings of loving-kindness and compassion to on our personal prayer-flags.
- We may also write our own personal aspirations, prayers and wishes creatively using words or images or symbols.
- We may also write the names – starting with our own name – of the people from whom we might want to ask for forgiveness.
- And lastly, we may write the names – starting with our own name – of all of the people that we may wish to forgive.
- To refrain from wearing make-up, perfume or strongly-scented deodorant, jewellery or immodest clothing; not playing radios, music tapes or musical instruments.
- To refrain from overindulgence in sleep.
- To refrain from eating after our main meal at lunchtime.
Some potential learning outcomes of this retreat
• Learning to stay with the uncomfortable – Right Now It’s Like This !?
• Develop an appreciation of the liberating distinction between ‘abstinence’ and ‘abandonment’.
• An introduction to and/or deepening of one’s own mindfulness meditation practice as a basic attitude in everyday life.
• A basic understanding of the Buddhist principles and practices of mindfulness-based harm reduction, relapse prevention and waking-up from ‘addictions’ and compulsions.
• An understanding and appreciation of the difference between ‘abstinence’ and ‘abandonment’ of addictions, compulsions and harmful behaviour (i.e. the Training Precepts compared to the commitment of a Sajja [Vow]).
• The opportunity to take part in and/or lead Buddhist-oriented ‘Sit-and-Share‘ peer led support meetings.
• The optional opportunity to make a Sajja [intention/aspiration/commitment/vow] as an outward manifestation of the heart’s desire to move away from suffering towards the end of suffering.
Optional Sajja [intention/aspiration/commitment/vow] at the end of retreat.
RETREAT COMMITMENT: My commitment to each retreat is to prepare and share my formulation of these teachings for everyone’s benefit. However, we create a retreat together when we show up for ourselves and for each other. Retreatants are expected to adhere to the ‘Retreat Commitment’. Just as our ‘waking-up’ requires our complete wholehearted commitment and our full effort, so does attendance on any Hungry Ghost Retreat. It is a requirement on retreat that you attend for the whole retreat and take part in all sessions. For example, if you are not an ‘early morning person’ then this retreat is not for you.
DANA: I offer this retreat freely in accordance with the Buddhist tradition of Dana (the cultivation and practice of the virtue of generosity) where you are invited to contribute financially to the teachings and the mentoring provided based on your individual income and the value that you place on what has been offered. My livelihood and the future of ‘Hungry Ghost’ retreats is dependent on the generosity of Dana. There will be more details of this during the retreat.
Please contact me if you need more information.
Download: Hungry Ghost Retreats Schedule [PDF]