Sitting a Retreat by Zen Master Senshin
Monthly retreats are central to training at the Queensland Zen Centre.
Retreats encourage students to put aside egoistic distractions, and focus on the immediate, through vital questions such as, “Who am I”?
The need to know who we are inspires many people to embrace spiritual practice and to delve into life-changing questions. While sitting a retreat can be challenging, students have the assurance of our ancient tradition, the fellowship of other students who share similar difficulties and joys, and a teacher to guide us through the journey.
A retreat is not an escape but rather an opportunity to deepen into the fundamental practices of sitting, walking, and chanting meditation. Additionally, retreats provide a supportive environment for students to bring to awareness a process of inquiry by learning how to work with a question or kong-an. Without the distractions of daily life, there is often a recognition of just how much time is spent caught up in following extraneous thought. As students learn to focus their energy on the breath and on a kong-an, sitting a retreat can enable students to strengthen an understanding of zen, as well as clarify an experience of what it might mean to just sit, on a hot summer's day, and listen to a kookaburra's warble.
Retreats give students a rare chance to let go of unnecessary conceptual activity and concentrate on the here and now. In each step that we take, each breath we breathe, and in each retreat we complete, our natural capacity to function with and for all beings, is enlivened and renewed.
For retreat dates, please see our schedule page.