The Zen hermit-monk Ryokan (1758-1831) remains one of Japan’s favourite poets. An eccentric original (he is also known as the “Great Fool”) his antics have endeared him to successive generations. After his initial Zen training Ryokan spent several years wandering before settling in a mountain hermitage. However, Ryokan was no world-hating recluse and was frequently to be seen playing with village children or sharing a drink with farmers. According to one authority Ryokan's life “was a living sermon”. In an atmosphere of contemplative silence this retreat will use Ryokan's life and his luminous poetry to reflect on our relationship with ourselves, the world and all the beings who inhabit it. There will also be free time to enjoy the beautiful grounds of the centre. Please note: apart from an introductory talk and a discussion period this retreat will be held in Noble Silence.