Sesshin in Liverpool
November 03, 2011 by Guest Author
Tenshin Roshi and Keizan Sensei facilitated a sesshin in the UK last week. 50 people from all over the world (UK, Germany, Norway, Netherlands, Estonia, New Zealand, USA) attended and I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to share a little bit of my impressions on this week.
It was held at Crosby Hall situated in Little Crosby, Liverpool. This is a residential educational centre formed through the conversion of historic stables and farm buildings (1988) surrounded by beautiful English country land. As usual we were lucky with the weather and many of us enjoyed the beautiful autumnal fields, trees, birds and animals at free moments. And of course Tenshin Roshi took the chance to play soccer when he could...
The week was characterized by quietness. This might sound ordinary to you, but the Stonewater Sangha is known for their strong tendency to socialize. So this stillness was quite remarkable and appreciated by many. Roshi and Sensei offered lots of interviews and of course a Dharma talk every day. As I was in the kitchen, I missed most of the things going on in the meditation hall, but did have the privilege to work with a good crew in the kitchen. Even the work hour went quiet. Everyone was concentrated on the job they got and on helping out. It was easy to get a bit more help when needed, which for a cook is utterly helpful.
I think that this caring, cohesive and motivated group turned the sesshin into a practice place with a stillness and concentration from which everyone could benefit as much as they wanted. It showed me once again how this can only happen when we do it all together. We amplify each other. It's great!
Thanks to Roshi and Sensei, thanks to the smooth organization from the Liverpool Sangha, thanks to all who participated and helped holding the space.
I would like to invite you all for next years sesshin in Crosby Hall. It will be again at the end of October. I think it's incredibly good for the practice of us all to participate in 'sister' Sangha's. At least as I speak for myself, it keeps me open, as things are different everywhere. And not in the last place to meet and experience that we have family all over the world. It's a huge gift!