It’s often said that Buddhism is built on two core principles – wisdom and compassion. On intensive meditation retreats, I spend most of my time engaged in wisdom-based practice, with mindfulness at the root. But it is metta, the Pali term for loving-kindness, that imbues the long, silent days with a fundamental heartfulness.
I’m 14 days into this silent Buddhist retreat, with 72 more to go. It’s my second Thursday. Last night was the fourth dharma talk. That’s four of 24 scheduled while I’m here.
I wonder if some people completely lose track of time while on retreat. I don’t. Life at silent meditation centers is radically less scheduled than anywhere else I know, yet still tethered to inescapable rhythms.
I had been practicing meditation for several years before I mustered the courage to sit a silent retreat. Lord Resistance, you are one strong adversary.