“A chapel is where you can hear something beating below your heart.” (Pico Iyer)
If you are reading this soon after it arrived in your inbox, then it’s very likely that I am in the middle of a ten-day silent meditation retreat.
Ten days. Silence.
I have done this only once before. It was five years ago, during this same time period that bridges the old year with the new one. It was at the same place (Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts) and with two of the three same teachers. While not easy, it was well worth the effort.
Ten days sounds long. For some, “long” translates into “hard.” I was told early in my meditation experience, and believe it to be true, that ten days is easier than a mere weekend for it is the first two or three days that are the hardest. If you do just a weekend, all you get is the hard stuff.
But if you stay past that threshold of discomfort and craving for the familiar, you just might enter into a new space, a space “where you can hear something beating below your heart,” as the writer Pico Iyer described what happens when surrounded by silence.
This congregation has a sizeable, and visible community that is drawn to meditation and to Buddhism. I think it is part of what drew us together. Twice each month, after a Sunday service the Buddhist sangha meets for meditation and conversation. Coming soon, on Saturday, February 23, I will be leading a day-long meditation retreat that is open to you, whether you have attended the sangha gatherings or not (but you must register ahead of time, as space is limited).