Retreat notes, V (Open and connected)

//Retreat notes, V (Open and connected)

Retreat notes, V (Open and connected)

Our « fifth day » is coming to an end for me here in Montreuil.
We had our usual evening sitting at the Red Earth Centre and much lively discussion. I noticed that I was much less tired than usual on Friday nights.
Seems I’m energized by this retreat. Not surprising.
We’ve all been delving into our lives entirely, tasting all the diversity (the « world » of form) but with an eye to life’s oneness, things just as they are, no distinctions (the « world » of emptiness). Which is already a deep practice. And then we’ve been sharing with each other, witnessing not only our own life but the lives of others, opening to people and places we may not even know.
Having dropped our ideas about connection, we’ve seen that we are all connected.

By | 2017-04-04T06:58:18+01:00 février 18th, 2011|La pratique Zen|11 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. Ana Cristina 19 février 2011 at 22 h 05 min - Reply

    Many words could be said, in this last day. But it does not fit here.

    The only words I want to say is: thank you sensei, thank you all, and a deep bow.

  3. Isabel 19 février 2011 at 16 h 13 min - Reply

    Sometimes I sat at the same hour sometimes not, sometimes I didn’t sit at all. Nevertheless I was looking around or inside from a different "place" and everything became clearer – (a sharpper eye?). Today it’s this deep sense of thanking. I don’t know what I’m thanking, I don’t know whom I’m thanking. It’s only this warm, deep feeling spreading around, the arms embracing. Perhaps love.
    Thank you Sensei, thank you Life, thanK you all. And deep bow.

  4. Cláudia 19 février 2011 at 14 h 32 min - Reply

    I "ended" the retreat at our usual Saturday morning sitting session, here in Porto. Which was very nice, sitting with the Sangha for the first time since the retreat "began". During this week I learned to be more present to "what is", being in the middle of a stressed day at work, being in the bus, swimming, eating, being tired, being with friends, etc.. I learned (or maybe I already knew it, but I always forget) that this is the practise, too. Thank you.

  5. flamme d'or 19 février 2011 at 12 h 55 min - Reply

    I closed the retreat with our morning song, three bows, when my head touches the floor joy comes up and my attention goes to every place where there was practice this week . What‘s practice? This week, a week with a lot to do, I realized, by meeting so many people at work and trough conversations with my children, more than ever that every place is a place of practice. Yes, everyone I meet is a participant searching, longing for life and longing to live in the heart of life. Thank you all, thank you Amy, thank you, music, confusion, rest in me and playing around me. All joining this retreat of life.

  6. Tiago 19 février 2011 at 12 h 51 min - Reply

    Woke up sick this morning, so my sitting wasn’t that long. That’s life.
    I don’t think this is an end of something. While sitting I kept hearing the words "if you don’t want to live the zendo, don’t enter the zendo" and that’s it!

    This sesshin in the heart of life made me see the attachments I have to the practice it self and to the idea of what this practice is all about. The idea of "silent retreat" was one of them as in this school people talk a lot, loud, and every time, every meal. But that’s the point of being here-now, living in the heart of life.

    Knowing that you were all sitting with me made it easier to "sit alone" each day. In fact, there will always be someone sitting with me, I realized.

    By now I can only show my deep gratitude to all and each one of you. Thank you sensei for this breakthrough. Deep bow.

  7. Christine 19 février 2011 at 12 h 37 min - Reply

    This week was filled with seeing my parents, brother, sister, friends, child care etc. Some sitting practice, not much, still I was carrying in my heart most of the time the connection to all of you who shared sitting and this space of words, thoughts, emotions. May we all be able to continue feeling this connection to everyone and everything. Thank you for your support.

  8. terre d'éveil 19 février 2011 at 12 h 02 min - Reply

    Is this the end or
    the start
    of this life sharing retreat
    what’s the end
    what’s the start
    it feels like
    I’m just beginning

    Thank you Amy
    Thank you all
    Thank you Life


  9. Antonio 19 février 2011 at 11 h 31 min - Reply

    The bubling mind never stopped. Sittings usually shorter than usual, or disturbed by something ele. However, this practicing together made me to sit everyday which is a good result. Thanks to all

  10. ute/TdE 19 février 2011 at 1 h 22 min - Reply

    It doesn´t feel like "comes to an end". And in a way it won´t end: Normally the end in a sesshin is kind of sudden after an intense time of being together, and then we all are spread again. But this time it feels like the connection can´t be interrupted by departures, we shared something else beside a sitting space and time. Is it about sharing a way of life? This full "normal" life including short times of silence?

    Due to circumstances I started late, not realizing that you already had started the sesshin. During my first "sitting" on that first day I didn´t even realize that this intense moment of enjoying food in an elegant restaurant – unusual situation for me – was also "in a sesshin". So my awareness of resting / sitting still / relaxing in that beautiful place and carefully eating didn´t have to do anything with the sesshin: I was just exploring and enjoying an unknown situation. I like that being open, which doesn´t happen so often in daily life. It was quite silent in that restaurant, not many guests at that time and I was silent too, being there on my own.

    Later in the week due to job I couldn´t share all sitting times but started to sit before going to work between 6 and half past in the morning and chanted " Tous les souffrances" and "vaste est la robe" and used the gong. Normally I do not do that while sitting alone but we do it as soon as we are two persons sitting here together. This time it felt necessary and normal to ring the gong although I was sitting alone.

    Probably there is always someone else sitting somewhere, at the same time. And although I like this idea of an continous meditation of people who are at different places I am looking forward to my next sesshin, where I can join practising together. Is is good to sit here on my cushion "all alone" and I love to share the silence in a place, together.

    Thank you!

  11. Sarah 19 février 2011 at 0 h 45 min - Reply

    I noticed this, in sitting life comes to me more vibrantly, vigorously and even it seems, violently a sense of connection whispers and then shouts…

Leave A Comment