Review of April 2021 Retreat

This talk reviews a self-retreat recently experienced by Peter, which was intended to last 2 weeks but was ended after one week due to excessive fatigue.  Peter describes the typical retreat routine, comparing the structure to the one he has followed for several years, which establishes 14-15 hours a day of meditation practice.  The pros and cons of his practice routine was reviewed and several supportive suggestions were offered for future reference.

Next week’s talk will provide a review of the Three Characteristics within Buddhist doctrine: anicca (the rapidly changing subjective characteristics of experience), dukkha (the distress and confusion that we are all subject to in life), and anatta (the absence of an enduring/autonomous self).  The intention will be to focus on how to identify and work with these characteristics skillfully.  The following week will begin an extensive review of modern understandings and applications of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, a core Buddhist teaching.  These foundations are Mindfulness of the Body (the subjective experience of physical sensations), Mindfulness of Feelings (the affect/emotional qualities of subjective experience), Mindfulness of the Mind (the characteristic levels of consciousness/mood upon which experience is projected) and Mindfulness of Mental Phenomena (the conditioning factors of the mind, which shape internal narratives and actions).