Retreat in the Heart of Life, Day IV

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Retreat in the Heart of Life, Day IV

No time until now to post here a Day IV « vehicle » (or perhaps « container » is a better word?) for today’s flow of comments.
At first, that seems like a problem: I’m not keeping up with the pace of the day, I’m leaving the participants without a space to share their experience. But then I think: « Really?! » What does that mean, « the pace of the day »? And what about « keeping up »? And of course the inevitable « I »?
So many questions lead me back to some basic words from D.T. Suzuki that have been accompanying me since last week:
To « live » Zen, he says, « means to treat yourself and the world in the most appreciative and reverential frame of mind. » This, for him, is the « secret » of « Zen discipline, » which, he adds, « means not to waste natural resources; it means to make full use… of everything that comes your way. »
Here I am, then, making use of this « no time until now to post… » and offering it to you.

By | 2017-04-04T06:58:15+00:00 novembre 22nd, 2012|Retraites au coeur de la vie|9 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. ceu 23 novembre 2012 at 10 h 20 min - Reply

    Sory that I d’ont feel me when I write of english and only french comes out!!!!
    Sory everybody

    Et j’ecoute tout de suite Amy qui dit "toujours I et ME…."….. mais c’ést vrais, je reste tous le temps a penser commen je doit ecrire parce que tous vous ecrivais en englais, mais cést pas a "moi"

    Aujourd’hui je me suis reveillez à 5.30 le matin parce que je devais emportez ma chat aux Vet pour faire la esterilizacion, il fesait froid et le ciel etait trés beau, pendant que je fesait ça, je pensais que je vais encore arrivers et m’assoir une parts du temps avec vous tous, et ça c’était heureusement possible…… me suis assis et, tout de suite, était la la petite table ou Ivone as mit des fleures, Amy, Sophie, Nuno, souvent notre montre, Claudia, souvent notre liaison avec Amy…..tous les autres que je sais qui sont la, et aussi la journée devant moi, être la a regardez dans moi et a laisser se organizer les celules pour être present "aware" pour le jour………"I" bow to you all

  2. Flamme d´or 23 novembre 2012 at 10 h 05 min - Reply

    Fifth day of retreat.’…
    Lazy days with a lot of tiredness…
    I am ´absent´ on office this days…and in some way this gives me the opportunity to be more ‘present’ in my life as ever.
    Every sitting period, realizing that I don´t sit alone but with you all feels like been covered by a warm cape . So good to read you all and share on this blog.
    Thank you so much!

  3. j 23 novembre 2012 at 0 h 43 min - Reply

    Not much sure what to say today. An immense feeling of gratitude for being a part of all of this. Been thinking all day about sufism (I have some friends who are sufis, with whom I spend some time now and again) and what some call "the practice of the heart". Even in a day such as this, which was what you might call "uneventful", I experienced throughout an great sense of thankfulness for being able to breathe, for my work, for the food I ate, for living. I bow to you all.

  4. Lisa 22 novembre 2012 at 23 h 59 min - Reply

    Indeed Tiago, I ask myself the same question… "and of course the inevitable "I""

  5. Tiago 22 novembre 2012 at 23 h 47 min - Reply

    Sat this afternoon at the interfaith centre – the wind was roaring outside like air-planes passing low on their way to the airport. Now, as I type in this words, the rain came too. One after the other, one with the other.

    For some reason I don’t feel "in retreat" – I do sit more hours than usual but life goes on, meanwhile. Does this mean I am not paying enough attention to others and things around me? …

  6. TdE 22 novembre 2012 at 17 h 43 min - Reply

    Coming home after a long day of work I remember the beautiful start of it that morning: yesterday evening one of the pumpkins stored in the staircase was so rotten that I put it on the table outside to take it to the compost in the garden on my way to feed the rabbit this morning.

    It was very cold when I came out this morning but nevertheless a spider overnight had linked the pumpkin and the house with two very long very fine lines, white in the cold blue morning.

  7. Christine 22 novembre 2012 at 13 h 52 min - Reply

    I feel more "in tune" with the retreat than the first two days of the week, maybe in part due to the fatigue that gave me the impression of standing next to me.
    It is not simple to slow down the pace of the thoughts, but I try to be present in this situation of last days of pregnancy. I feel the babies birth approaching, there is more and more tightness and breath will be even more important once labor starts. Maybe giving birth will be part of the retreat for me and the little bouddha to come into this world (and as ever still needs to be named…) ?!
    Have a good day.

  8. Hugo 22 novembre 2012 at 13 h 25 min - Reply

    I have been around with Trungpa’s words:
    "Great Eastern Sun Vision, on the other hand, is based on appreciating ourselves and appreciating our world, so it is a very gentle approach. Because we appreciate the world, we don’t make a mess in it. We take care of our bodies, we take care of our minds, and we take care of our world. The world around us is regarded as very sacred, so we have to constantly serve our world and clean it up."

    Today I have enjoyed so much to wash the dishes. It always reminds me of the retreats. It is my favorite task while I am in retreats. Even more that sitting. I dont know why…

  9. Cagey 22 novembre 2012 at 13 h 08 min - Reply

    Today’s quote expresses the realisation I had yesterday, when for once I was "present", just how often I’m distracted, not really there.
    This retreat is helping me overcome the separation I’d made of Zen practice, making it inclusive, part of my daily life, making that life richer.
    Today is Thanksgiving – what a great concept to celebrate. It will be a pot-luck meal with a small group of friends, each bringing an offering of food or drink to share, much like the day retreats when it’s like the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, with sharing being the miracle. And you will all be there with me, too.

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