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The Moon At The Window: A silent retreat with Ryokan

Teacher: Stephen Coan
Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
Dates: Friday 06 November 2020 - Sunday 08 November 2020

stephen coan oct2019The 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 of wandering before settling in a mountain hermitage. However, Ryokan was no world-hating recluse and was often 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 the world and all the beings who inhabit it. Please note: Apart from an introductory talk and discussion period this retreat will be held in Noble Silence.

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Stephen Coan has been involved with Buddhism for three decades. Inspired and informed by the Theravada and Zen Buddhist traditions, his retreats place an emphasis on the centrality of practice in living a skilful and enlightened life while also exploring the interface between poetry and silence and the profound benefits of doing nothing, seriously.  In addition he draws on his own life experience of moving between being and doing as a film and theatre director, writer, journalist, and poet. His collection of poems Chant of the Doves (2008), inspired by time spent at the Buddhist Retreat Centre over the years, is featured in A Literary Guide to Kwazulu-Natal (2017).