Retreat notes, I (Borders)

//Retreat notes, I (Borders)

Retreat notes, I (Borders)

So after sitting this morning and before sitting tonight, it’s Monday, with it’s usual routine of household tasks, meetings and appointments. And yet today, there’s a difference: These activities are my contribution to the retreat that we are plunging into together.
A fountain of gratitude gushed forth as I read all your words.
With the geographic spread (both spatial and temporal) of our fellow participants, the world has felt both vast and intimate since I awoke before the sun, knowing that elsewhere, in Sri Lanka and Australia, for example, it had been shining for hours. Have also noticed the vastness and intimacy of « my » world/life, losing the borders of « life » and « practice » in the fullness of each moment. Is laundry practice or life? What about the Métro? Saying goodbye to friends? Changing the light bulb?
Keep an eye out for those « borders. » Where are they and how did they get there?
And thank you, one and all, for accepting this invitation to each go your own way with all the others.

By | 2015-10-03T16:43:43+01:00 février 14th, 2011|La pratique Zen|14 Comments

About the Author:

Enseignante Zen et poète, Sensei Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell est née et a grandi à Minneapolis, aux Etats-Unis. Arrivée en France en 1981 pour étudier la littérature et l’histoire, elle y est restée, s’installant à Paris, où elle élève ses deux enfants et gagne sa vie en tant que journaliste. The Zen teacher and poet Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell Sensei was born and raised in Minneapolis, but came to France in 1981 to study literature and history and has lived in Paris ever since, raising her two children and making a living as a journalist.


  1. swiss fake uhren 23 juillet 2013 at 3 h 37 min - Reply
  2. Ana Cristina 16 février 2011 at 15 h 46 min - Reply

    Thank you Ryonen.
    Thank you all…

  3. Lisa 15 février 2011 at 17 h 05 min - Reply

    I read all your comments and my heart lifts, it actually keeps opening wider and wider, as days go by, as the day goes by, every instant… what an amazing feeling of connection and love.
    Even my bike’s 3rd puncture this morning did not shatter the internal and external smile!
    Thank you all…

  4. Ryonen 15 février 2011 at 16 h 50 min - Reply

    Dear Ana Cristina,
    all the best to your daughter!
    lots of love to both of you.

  5. Ana Cristina 15 février 2011 at 16 h 04 min - Reply

    Today my routines have changed.
    My daughter is 38 degrees of fever, did not go to school.
    She sleeps after lunch I sit with her and with all of you.
    Impermanence, I bow with love…

  6. terre d'éveil 15 février 2011 at 15 h 25 min - Reply

    goeiemiddag samen (Goodafternoon Together)

    last week I used the old ‘beatles’ song ‘Blackbird’ in a speech
    in a version of Sarah McLachlan;
    Blackbird singing in the dead of night
    Take these broken wings and learn to fly
    You were only waiting for this moment to arise

    Black bird singing in the dead of night
    Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
    you were only waiting for this moment to be free

    This morning at 7, a blacbkbird singing over the rooftops of Doorn
    was my wake up call
    the live concert continued during my sitting
    as if his song will never end
    like my wake up call

    with love Tjeerd

  7. sylvie 15 février 2011 at 14 h 33 min - Reply

    Au milieu de mes bagages, dans les dernières pensées pour ne rien oublier de l’essentiel, je me pose sur mon zafu, et tous ceux que j’aime sont là, au coeur , dans le coeur.
    I shin den Shin !
    demain l’avion, après demain la chaleur, un autre monde, d’autres sensations Me voilà entre ces deux mondes… et je respire ici. L’orchidée qui n’avait pas refleuri depuis des années est en train d’éclore, cadeau de départ
    Merci à tous, merci Amy

  8. Christine 15 février 2011 at 11 h 17 min - Reply

    Hello dear all,
    managed only today to get some free time to formally sit, and not even during the "official" sitting times…however, I have you all in my mind. My son with his LEGOs next to me, I send you his smile.

  9. Tu es cela 15 février 2011 at 10 h 49 min - Reply

    Bonjour everyone.
    Something at once ancient and timeless about a pigeon’s resonant cooing as we sat this morning in Montreuil.
    The sweet touch of that particular birdsong always summons Vimoutiers in my heart, filling me with the joy of all those days and nights of sitting together in innumerable retreats.
    Which is also the timeless joy of us all sitting together, walking together, working together, again today. Thanks for accompanying me.

  10. Adriano 15 février 2011 at 10 h 20 min - Reply

    Just sitting, while working.
    I feel great gratitude.
    Thank you Sensei. Thank you All.

  11. brigitte 15 février 2011 at 9 h 22 min - Reply

    Hie everybody, hie Life, high Life

    Need to spring out words and feeling after this morning sitting : Vastitude, Plenitude and Gratitude.

    Sitting here, with dogs barking, birds singing, daylight coming up, Satie –like Joa’s cats last night, finding their way in the middle of this life earth (and sky) sesshin.

    Sitting with you next to me, sitting with you next door, sitting with you kms away, towns away and countries far away,

    Sitting with you, sitting minutes or hours far ago ; what is the difference ? sitting at 7.30 AM or Paris, or at 7.30 in Mozanbique or Australia, or at any time ?
    What is the difference between sitting and not sitting,
    formal sesshin and sesshin in the heart of life,
    between dogs barking here and dogs barking there,
    birds singing here and birds singing there,
    between you sitting there and me sitting here,
    between a teacher far away and a teacher close (or closed ?),
    between you and me ? between Absolute and Relative ?
    The koan of our life, the koan of my name.
    Here we are !

    Thank you Sensei, and deep gratitude, for allowing me to keep going on this path,
    for Roshi, for the lineage vehiculating the dharma ‘throughout space and time’ whatever form it can take,
    for MG, for JP, for my friends and my students (hebrew students),
    for being alive and moving into this moving given life.

    Have everybody a nice day, together.

  12. Ryonen 15 février 2011 at 8 h 59 min - Reply

    Waking up my daughter, making her bread for the school.
    She always turns her head when I stand in the door and bless her day.
    I had very good sitting now. Thank you Amy thank you all!
    Good Morning and deep bow

  13. Hugo 15 février 2011 at 6 h 02 min - Reply

    Sitting again while the rain falls. Drops, smells, sounds. Another day.

  14. Sophie 14 février 2011 at 23 h 49 min - Reply

    Merci Amy Sensei pour cette Invitation
    A être ensemble, à partager nos souffles, nos pensées, nos attentions, nos regards, nos organisations
    Merci pour cette invitation si précise et si ouverte
    Merci pour cette invitation à prendre conscience de l’invitation "permanente" qui nous est faite de vivre ensemble…
    Merci pour ton Inspiration,
    Merci de nous accueillir,
    Amour partagé.

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