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DDM Sydney Hosts 4 & 7-Day Retreat

DDM Sydney held a 4 & 7-day retreat from 6 - 12 April 2012 under the guidance of Venerable Chang Qi and Venerable Chang Xu at the Camp Ku-Ring-Gai Activity Centre at Ebenezer.

The venerable took into consideration of the peaceful and tranquil outdoor environment which was conducive to practice, and brought ourselves closer to nature and our mind to our body. They provided us with many opportunities for outdoor walking and sitting meditation. The retreatants found it extremely beneficial as they felt very calm and at ease with themselves.

Other than sitting meditation, we also watched the DVD Dharma talks by Master Sheng Yen, which was followed by Venerable Chang Qi’s further explanations and expansions of the concepts by giving us examples of how we can relate practice and teaching to daily living. Again and again, we were reminded to retrieve, collect and calm our mind, using the methods of contemplation, illumination and retrieval. We were taught to contemplate on our body and mind in daily life, and to contemplate on various situations and happenings. If we know what they are and how they arise, we will be able to deal with it.

In addressing our leg pains during sitting meditation, Venerable Chang Qi reminded us that our experience is the process. By overcoming various obstructions, distractions and physical discomforts, our will power will grow stronger. With more perseverance, determination and patience, we will be to overcome difficulties in life. The venerable used the analogy of checking the rear vision mirror while driving a car to explain that we do not need to fully turn backwards and dwell in the past, but rather use those experiences to check and guide us forward in our practice.

Tea meditation was also included in our retreat. The participants were very happily surprised that tea meditation can be so wonderful and many were at a loss for words to describe their feelings. We were offered 3 cups of tea and 1 cup of water. Amazingly, everyone said that it was the best cup of “plain” water that they ever had in their lives!

(by DDM Sydney)

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