Can you imagine yourself in a world where you and everyone else cared for the wellbeing of all, where people were open and accepting of one another, and compassion flowed freely? Have you ever had a glimpse of what unconditional love feels like, both giving it and receiving it? In fact, what is “love”?
In modern American society, we use the word ‘love’ in so many ways, from expressing affection to describing a romantic relationship or even a pleasurable experience. In our important relationships, we seek to love and be loved, with ‘love’ seemingly being both the attractant and the hoped for glue, or binder, for the relationships. And yet, despite our great emphasis on love, the creation and maintenance of consistently loving relationships seems to be one of the major challenges and difficulties for nearly everyone these days, young and old, much less developing an open warm heart that connects with everyone from a “loving” place.
Why is it that in spite of our best intentions and aspirations, our ability to love and understand other human beings is constantly running into obstacles and challenges. Is there a proven remedy for this type of paradox, i.e. the suffering that often unfolds in relationships that are supposed to be sources of goodness and wholesome nurturance? Is a pure, unconditional love possible? Can one really be loving and open with everyone?
In this four-day retreat, Fred will guide participants in the teachings and practices found in the Buddhist tradition that train our hearts and minds to become vessels of love and understanding. No longer hoping that a change of heart will happen spontaneously or become a random occurrence, we will develop the ability to generate the heart of love and compassion in all life situations and relationships. We will also look at those historical mind states and self-centered orientations that sabotage the loving heart and establish barriers. Though a process involving Dharma talks, guided meditations, deep reflections, and interaction, we will over these four days “learn how to love.”
The retreat will begin Thursday evening, November 18 and end Sunday at noon, November 21. It will consist of a Thursday evening session (7 pm to 9 pm), all-day Friday and Saturday (7 am to 9 pm), and a Sunday session (7 am to noon). The retreat will be conducted both in-person (for up to 15 members total to permit social distancing in sleeping rooms and elsewhere) and online. If you wish to register for in-person participation and that registration is full, you will be placed on a waiting list. We will then contact you after registration closes to either let you know that an in-person spot is available or if not, to ask if you wish to participate online.
The retreat is open to all FCM members.
Retreat Scholarships are available; please click here to see FCM’s Retreat Scholarship Policy and for an Application, which needs to be submitted prior to the registration deadline for this retreat. The teachings are offered in the Buddhist tradition of Dana, wherein the teachers freely give of themselves to the students out of gratitude for what they’ve received from their teachers and a desire to be of service. The student’s response is also based on Dana, i.e. generosity that naturally flows from a sense of appreciation of the value of Dharma and gratitude to the living lineage. All retreat dana will go towards supporting the programs that FCM offers.
The retreat registrar will be sending additional information to registrants before the retreat, including daily schedules, Zoom instructions and suggestions to help prepare you for a meaningful retreat experience from your home.
The last day to register for this retreat is October 22nd.
Fred Eppsteiner, a Dharma teacher in the lineage of Thich Nhat Hanh, has been a student of Buddhism and a practitioner of meditation for over fifty years and has devoted himself to teaching the Dharma (teachings of the Buddha) since 1996. Although Fred has practiced primarily in the Zen and Tibetan Buddhist lineages, he bases his teachings on the full breadth of Buddhist philosophical, psychological and meditative traditions.
For more information, please contact Angie at firstname.lastname@example.org.