On a quiet evening in my thatch-roofed hut, I play a lute with no string. Its melody enters the wind and cloud, mingles deeply with a flowing stream, fills out the dark valley, blows through the vast forest, then disappears. Other than those who hear emptiness, who will capture this rare sound? - Ryokan (tr. Kazuaki Tanahashi)
This will be a simple no-frills, "bare-bones" Zen-style retreat consisting of sitting and walking meditation, including a morning and evening dharma reading, as well as time to experience the beautiful surroundings of the Buddhist Retreat Centre while capturing the rare sound of a lute played with no string. Held in the supportive space of Noble Silence, this retreat presents an ideal opportunity to extend and deepen your meditation practice.
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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, Stephen 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).