“Boundless wind and moon – the eye within eyes,
Inexhaustible heaven and earth – the light beyond light.
The willow dark, the flower bright – ten thousand houses;
Knock on any door – someone will answer.”
The image of “the light beyond the light” caught my attention as I read the poem that is the Preface to the Blue Cliff Record, a collection of one hundred koans. It is said that, entering into the Blue Cliff, you will open ‘the eye within eyes’, and living life informed by the Blue Cliff, you yourself become a beacon, ‘the light beyond light’. That being so, you find that whichever of the ten thousand doors you knock on ‘someone will answer.
Which verse of the poem catches your attention? That will be part of what we will explore during our day together. For me, the ‘light beyond the light’ is ‘the dark’. The image speaks to going beyond what I know, going beyond what is in the light. Inexhaustible heaven and earth completely interpenetrate each other, form and emptiness entangled. Each of the 10,000 houses that I knock on the door of are my own, each of the people behind those doors, who answer my knock, are me.
The Urban Retreat format is a user friendly, easily approachable way of participating in a meditation retreat. Starting at 9:30 we will have three 25 minute periods of meditation with a short break in between each. Then we will compare field notes on our experiences with the koan, some in the whole group and some in breakout groups, where there is more opportunity for everyone to speak and to listen. Then we will have a two hour break for lunch, during which time you may want to Zoom or use some other platform to get together with one or more of the other people in the retreat as you eat lunch. In the afternoon we will do it again ending at 5:00 pm.
The retreat will be limited to 24 people, that is one zoom screen, so everyone will be able to see everyone. In that way keeping an intimate atmosphere for sharing deeply what arises in meditation.
Fee: $50.members & $65.non-members Registrar: Vickie Miller – Vickieix8@Gmail.com