Dharma Topic: Learning to Live

posted in: Dharma Topics | 0

Dear Still Water Friends,

Thirty-seven of us (including ten children) came togetherthis past week-end for our Spring Community Retreat at the Charter Hall RetreatCenter. The feelings the retreat nourished in me were of joy and connection.Basically we do three things on our community retreats:

  • There is time for us to be with ourselves, especially during sitting and walking meditation and solitary walks. 

  • There is time for us to be with others, informally at meals and during activities throughout the day, and with more intensive focus during Dharma discussion. 

  • And there is time for us to be with nature – with the Susquehanna River, the Chesapeake Bay, the fish, the birds, and the flora. (We learned, however, that the beauty and apparent serenity of the surroundings are deceptive – due to sewage and run-off, the Susquehanna River recently was identified as the country’s most endangered river.)

The same three theme of self, others, and nature, arehighlighted in a short poem by Cid Corman entitled Learning to Live:

Learn to live
with yourself

never do

Then learn to live
with one another

even fewer
manage this

Then– if you ever
live long enough —

learn to live
with everything else.

You are invited to join us this Thursday evening forour meditation period and for a discussion of Learning to Live –we will explore together what it means for us personally to live with ourselves,with one another, and with everything else.

The best times to join us are just before the first sittingat 7 pm; at 7:25, at the beginning of walking meditation; and, at 7:35, at thebeginning of the second sitting. (To allow others to maintain concentration andcontinuity, we ask that practitioners not enter during the walking meditation.)

Warm wishes,

Mitchell Ratner 
Senior Teacher