Path of Freedom Retreat Update
We sold out all of our in-person tickets at the Priory but we’re very pleased to announce that the Priory has allocated us more rooms, and they are now available on Eventbrite, albeit in limited number. So don’t miss out on this new opportunity to attend the retreat in-person!
There is also now a new in-person day rate to attend the retreat. This provides an option for attendees to arrange their own lodging and attend the retreat during the day. It will include meals and tea at the Priory. You can book your tickets here at Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/path-of-freedom-retreat-tickets-335712163117. For any questions about the retreat, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Path of Freedom Groups on Break
The Path of Freedom local groups, including Longchen Open, are currently on Summer break. The Lewisham group is scheduled to return September 5 with a course teaching an Introduction to Buddhist Meditation. For more information, send them an email here: email@example.com. Longchen Open and the Oxford group will return in September and we will send an announcement once they have been scheduled.
Monthly Dharma Quotation
The following quotation comes from the Path of Freedom Retreat of 2018, taught by Rigdzin Shikpo. We look forward to seeing you at this joyful occasion as we return to this annual teaching and practice period after not being able to offer it in 2020 and 2021!
The simplicity of experience is all that you have. You don’t need Buddhism, you don’t need any kind of teaching, you don’t need to delve into books to find this or to find that. All you need is the simple directness of what is. This is slightly more profound than people’s ordinary version of their direct experience, but the ordinary version of direct experience is all we have to start with. Ordinary experience is something that deepens. You know, don’t expect to get to the heart of everything right away. You do what you can, you practice, and then as you relax into it more, open out more, experience deepens. It deepens and becomes wider.
Whenever you think, maybe there’s something else than your direct experience, remember the thought that, “there is something else than my direct experience,” is simply a thought within my direct experience. If you can find something that isn’t your direct experience, please let me know. We have this vague ghost-like idea that there’s my direct experience and somehow there’s something else as well.
You might say, “Well, if it’s all down to me, isn’t this some kind of solipsism?” But as you practice, the sense of focusing on ego begins to fade. And sometimes it seems to collapse suddenly, quite quickly, which can lead to an experience of strong shock. And then that cuts through the idea of solipsism, the idea of ‘when I link into my own experience it’s just my experience’. It stops being my experience, it’s just experience.
You could have what seems to be an actual experience of non-existence which is very strange, actually. It’s said that what you see around you, everything you see that comes through the senses, the world, the universe, the galaxies, the atoms, and everything—as the masters of this tradition have it—never existed from the very beginning. And as you awaken, that’s what you awaken to.
The non-existence is tremendously alive, tremendously real. It’s not bland. There is a sense of aliveness connected to it, even scary aliveness. So that’s why you pass completely beyond any notions of solipsism, any notion of, “It’s just me.” This goes beyond that.
And then a sense of search begins to arise. What is this mysterious quality that knows? That which knows there is nothing whatever and is also true for everyone, in essence. What is that, and does it have hidden mystery and depth? It would seem that it does.Rigdzin Shikpo