On Sunday 15th of February, an urban day retreat for under-35s was held at E-Vam Institute, Carlton. This was a combination of giving participants a taste of ‘retreat life’ as well as introducing them to some of the content available in the year-long under-35 program.
The day started at 8.30am and finished at 5pm. The schedule included an introduction/approach to meditation class, pranayama yoga, shamatha meditation practice, listening to a talk by Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche on ‘happiness’, four immeasurables meditation practice and an introduction to puja and Chenrezig practice. Included was a home-cooked retreat-style vegan curry for lunch.
Twenty-five participants attended from all walks of life, with varying degrees of experience and interest in Buddhism. The day was facilitated by four of Traleg Rinpoche’s current and former shedra students. We all did our best to embody the instructions and guidance that Rinpoche passed onto us in terms of how to facilitate Dharma content to a younger audience.
Themes of the day that we kept returning to were around interdependence and the sense that we better ourselves in order to improve the lives of others; as well as exploring our ideas of the difference between happiness and pleasure and how some forms of pain contribute to our development on the path.
It was great to have the opportunity to work with sangha members on delivering this kind of program – it was the first time we have run an urban day retreat. We were delighted that so many people had the interest, time and resources to attend the day and hope that it provided a worthwhile introduction to Karma Kagyu Buddhism.