The Bodhi retreat is the main retreat in the calendar of the Amida Order. Bodhi Day is December 8th the day in the East Asian calendar that marks the night of the Buddha Shakyamuni’s awakening.
The retreat - for those who live in Belgium, France & the Netherlands - is organized by Jnanamati & Vajrapala and hosted by Vajrapala and Daniel’s at their home in Frasnes-lez-Buissenal. Frasnes is located between Ronse, Ath and Lessines, in the Pays des Collines, Hainault, South Beldium.
The three-day retreat offers us the opportunity for deepening our practice, to reflect on our spiritual life and to express gratitude to Shakyamuni for the gift he has given us by rediscovering the Buddha-Dharma.
This year we will think together about our personal spiritual vocation in terms of creating a Buddha field or a Pure Land. This mirrors Dharmakara Bodhiattvas vision and the vows he proclaimed as described in the Larger Pure Land Sutra. This is a commitment that implies service to others and is also a description of the spirit or intention voiced in the Bodhisattva Vows:
Innumerable are sentient beings, we vow to save them all
Inexhaustible are deluded passions, we vow to transform them all
Immeasurable are the Dharma teachings, we vow to master them all
Infinite is the Buddha’s way, we vow to fulfill it completely
Our visions as Buddhists are what inspire us and others to bring the Dharma into the world and into our relationships with other sentient beings. We can see this helping create a field that creates the condition for personal and collective transformation. This is no ordinary commitment to change but rather a revolution in which the love and compassion of the Buddhas can manifest in us.
We will explore and discover our personal visions through various practices. This will include chanting nembutsu, silent contemplation, recitation of the Pure Land sutras, personal sharing, walks in nature and making art. The art process can include drawing and painting pictures, writing or other forms of creative activity. This is an invitation for us to find inspiring visions that anticipate or can support what we do in our daily lives.
The retreat is for Pure Land Buddhists from the Amidist tradition, but Buddhists from other denominations and other spiritual traditions are also welcome.
The retreat will be guided in English and will start on Thursday evening, the 8th December at1 6:30 and finish on Sunday December 11 14h (after lunch). Interested parties can join one or more days / hours. On Saturday morning (10th) from 8.00 until 13.00, we will have a period of continuous Nembutsu chanting
Cost: € 30 per day available to cover catering (macro-biotic vegan food) and accommodation. Donations are requested for the retreat guidance.
For overnight stays, we have the use of a neighbours house at the edge of the forest. If you are intending to stay please do bring your own sheets, towels and toiletries.
If you are interested in this retreat please contact Vajrapala by no later than the end of November. We are happy to discuss with you in advance if you want to talk through practical arrangements.
Registrations and practical matters through Vajrapala: Lut.firstname.lastname@example.org or Vajrapala7@gmail.com
Namo Amida Bu
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