Retreat notes, IV (Hearing pain)

//Retreat notes, IV (Hearing pain)

Retreat notes, IV (Hearing pain)

Day 4 of our retreat, Thursday, another day at the office. There was time for a short morning sitting, a bit of « stillness practice, » before leaving home, unlike yesterday.

And then it was into the « movement practice » of the world and its array of daily motion. We think we know it so well! And yet…

For a moment this morning I thought it was odd to be in that place, with those people, doing those tasks.

I listened to my colleagues speak to and about each other, angry, bitter, weary, mean, frightened words. It was really just the ordinary chatter of the office in mid-afternoon, much like any other day. And yet…

I heard them differently today. I listened « on retreat. » Their words were hurtful, yes, but only because the speakers were full of hurt.

What I heard was pain. I listened. And we went on doing our work together, just another moment on retreat.

By | 2015-10-03T16:44:39+01:00 février 17th, 2011|La pratique Zen|13 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. uhren fake 23 juillet 2013 at 3 h 39 min - Reply
  2. sylvie 19 février 2011 at 15 h 47 min - Reply

    je suis si loin de chez moi mais replongee dans mes souvenirs de mon premier grand voyage en Inde Mahabalipuram et ses temples originels au bord de la mer dans la chaleur moite aui me separe de Paris et pourtant mes souvenirs ne me portent plus je suis la meme et une autre et je suis avec vous Merci sylvie

  3. Tiago 18 février 2011 at 19 h 33 min - Reply

    Not the walk by the sun I have imagined for this afternoon but a walk through the corridors leading people to their rooms instead, being present with them.
    How wonderful to see those habitual corridors for the "first time" !

  4. miacravo 18 février 2011 at 18 h 27 min - Reply

    I am really enjoying this retreat. Even when I am doing common things, I feel I am much more present, I am aware of this. What a surprise!
    This morning I felt a kind of a star above my house and all the people of our group had also their stars. Those stars moved and joined together with the same purpose.
    If there are words to translate what I felt, I’ll choose Sweet Peace.
    It´s that Sweet Peace, I´m sending all of you.

  5. Antonio 18 février 2011 at 17 h 46 min - Reply

    Having a coffee, after lunch, the mind sometimes just watch with no attachements; sometimes was full of thoughts. Practicing sitting by the window at the coffeshop. …A sufering heart? a lost girl, 17 years old, so far away …, relating, only now, with an unknown grandfather …how strange family bonds may be!!!!!

  6. Hugo 18 février 2011 at 16 h 21 min - Reply

    Have sit with two other "new" persons in Maputo after lunch. They wish to make it regular. I explained that many others around the world were practicing this week. Close to all. Finding our way. My regards to all from Mozambique

  7. Tiago 18 février 2011 at 14 h 38 min - Reply

    I could hear those hurtful words around me too, Sensei. They are everywhere, one just have to "sit" and listen. Reading all of your words I feel grateful for this sharing and an unknown warmth pops deep in me as I read.

    Another new day, today. Sun popped out and I’m considering a nice walk somewhere this afternoon – I’ll share my steps with you all.
    Wishes of a very nice day and a bow – bowing has been a very deep practice these days!

  8. asleep 18 février 2011 at 12 h 14 min - Reply

    many moments of silence, not only when I sit. also many moments of agitation, not only when i sit. continuous practice of dealing with emotions, ideas, others

  9. Tania 18 février 2011 at 11 h 44 min - Reply

    this morning mid breakfast last minuite homework teeth brushing a quick game of footie with the smallest ball I held my son as he softly wept then to the toilet grabbing the guitar as we leave

  10. J 18 février 2011 at 11 h 38 min - Reply

    relationships have been very intense this week. i noticed that i am more tense and agressive and impatience towards others. all that is happening is a very good teaching.

  11. Isabel 18 février 2011 at 2 h 02 min - Reply

    I’ve just arrived home. All tasks, and things and meetings. Everything just the same but seen from a different place. A place "we all", not "only me". I can see clearer, I can see stepping backwards. I can see resistance and fear, and sorrow and shame. And bow before them. Wanting to know their story.
    Good night to you all.

  12. Ryonen 17 février 2011 at 23 h 58 min - Reply

    I am reading all of your commentary and my heart is touched deeply by your words.Wonderful experience to sit, walk, eat, think, feel with all of you everywhere. And as Amy Sensei mentioned, it does not end with 30 of us “it’s an endless offering of infinite connection”
    There are no more concept’s in the sentence” practice is my life”, “ my life is Sesshin”

    Today my daughter came back home with headache and higher temperature.
    So, I started my evening zazen with you later, but it did not feel later. It felt as one activity.Taking care of my child, doing supper, making laundry, calling my parents, talking to my student, doing Zazen, and now fighting with English. All of that feels like one long sentence in our book , it flows from one thing to another.
    Thank you Amy for inviting me

  13. ute/TdE 17 février 2011 at 21 h 22 min - Reply

    Thank you for mentioning the bitterness and being hurt of "them". Joining a conference at school at the end of the day about a certain class of very young pupils it was that being hurt themselves of the teachers which touched me most.
    How can someone being a human being be so judging about someone who is still growing? A very young human being which needs full protection and support instead of judgement? How can I be so jugding about someone – the teachers – who uses judging as a method just used to?

    There was a turning (for me) when I just didn´t care about what anybody thinks about ( and judges) me. I started to just protect EVERY BODY. Even the elder lady who is in charge of that class and looked quite disappointed after that "discussion of all the problematic cases". Although she is "running" a beautiful crowd of human beings.
    Marcel Duchamps is absolutely right: There are no solutions, because there are no problems. Those kids are all: RIGHT. Great human beings. With a wonderful potential.

    Thank you Amy! You have been so right and courageous in your first dharma talk as a Sensei which you started with the sentence: " It is all about Love."



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