Sunday, July 1, 2012

Well, so much for no-internet.

Here's the thing: it's hard to do an intense retreat in a city. It's harder when the retreat is pretty casual, everyone is all friendly and welcoming, it ends at 5:30 every day, I have three roommates in my hostel, my hostel is halfway across town, and that town is Amsterdam.

So I kicked the intensity down a notch and enjoyed it as a pretty relaxed retreat for a few days. Here's the schedule:
9:30-11:00 zazen
11:00-11:10 chanting
11:10-12:00 chores (if you volunteer to do something)
12:00-12:30 zazen
12:30-1:00 lunch
1:00-2:15 chores (again, if you volunteer)
2:15-2:45 zazen
2:45-3:30 dharma talk (in Dutch; no, I couldn't understand this)
3:30-4:00 tea
4:00-5:30 zazen
By "zazen", I mean "sitting meditation for 25 minutes, then walking meditation for 5 minutes." So we meditated about 4 hours each day. Which sounds like a lot, but it was interspersed with other stuff, so it wasn't really so hard.

The people were nice. There was more ritual than I'm used to, but not a lot more, and they were pretty cool with me just joining in, so that was fine too.

Next up: visit my friend Ross (from when I was studying in Maastricht) in Eindhoven, then back to Maastricht to see Michael and Daniel (again, though Michael wasn't around the first time), then up to near Utrecht to meet some... cousins' cousins? Whatever, it's all cousins.

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