It has become our custom to begin the summer programme in France with an intensive retreat in the first week of July. Sesshin is a time to focus upon the heart. The retreat involves extended periods of silent reflection, relinquishing the noise of our habitual life. An Amidist sesshin is fundamentally about love and devotion. There is no difference here between meditation and comtemplative prayer. The practice is to sit in the presence of the sacred, enter the mystery of silence and experience a place of immediacy and mystical vastness that puts ordinary life into a new and saner perspective. It may lead to insights and an enhanced and pervasive deep tranquility. It is sometimes hard work overcoming the habitual flurry of the mind and practice together in a group sustains us giving us the chance to touch something greater than ourselves.
This sesshin is part of a set of five sesshin. We hope that you will want to attend all five at least once. This is an excellent way to deepen practice. It is especially important for candidates for ordination, yet is open to any interested serious practitioner.
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