I just returned from a 3 day zen meditation retreat.( in loveland, Ohio at Grailville ) Honestly, it’s all pretty simple. and it’s also really hard. You sit for 20-30 minutes. you walk for 10 minutes. you sit. you walk. repeat, repeat, repeat. then you cry. then you feel love. if you are lucky to have a teacher like I do, you have dharma talks included and you learn a LOT about yourself. My teacher is an incredible gift to the world. she invites us to sit, and even though I am NOT the “perfect” student, she teaches me. she accepts me and she loves me. I show up for her & she shows up for me.
the sesshin (retreat ) translates to “gathering the heart-mind” And that is what is so beautiful. that’s what we do. think about what would happen if the world spent time doing this.
This is my room. My roommate and was not able to make it, so I had a single this year. I totally snuggled in my sleeping bag at night, cozy and comfy. I love this room. It was my little safe haven. I spent some time just lying there in stillness. I did not sleep well and we had early days. But I just LOVED having this little space to myself .
This is the space outside of my room where I would put down my yoga mat and stretch. My friend Timmiera joined me one morning. it was lovely. I had some new aches and pains this retreat. Yoga was a great addition to the retreat this year. it felt like the perfect space for a mat, breath, movement and complete quiet.
This is the building that we sat in for our retreat. This is simple beauty. I have grown to love this building, mostly the rhythm of the ceiling fans, the sound of rain on the roof. How amazing the energy is when all of us are in there, totally silent together for extended time.
our beautiful alter. I was so incredible blessed to have a role in the service ( jisha) which meant I was the assistant to the teacher and part of my responsibilities was to be the incense lighter for all our services. I bowed to this alter many times, I lit the incense from the always burning candle. It was a simple and beautiful ritual that became part of my day to day. Also, b/c of where I was sitting in the room, the alter was right at eye level for me during sitting time. I fell in love with this simple arrangement.
Us. ( I’m taking the pic)
Us. ( meghan taking the pic)
If you are interested in learning more about my teacher. you can check out her site. karenmaezenmiller.com.
* And she is coming to see us in DC in June! how lucky are we!