I’ve been looking into doing my second teacher led, silent, 5 days or more retreat on my path to MBSR certification. I’ve read the instructions on the cfm website and understand the need for the retreat to be mindfulness-centered. Not living in the States would make it harder for me to go to one of the retreat suggested on the cfm site though, and I hope to find one in my area (Quebec province, Canada) that also fits my schedule.
I have noticed some of the retreats suggested on the cfm site are of Zen tradition, and not knowing as much about the language used in this tradition and how it compares to other traditions, I wish to check with you if the retreat I have found seems to meet the requirements for the certification. It is a 5 days, silent, teacher led retreat. What I want to check with you is that the word “mindfulness” isn’t used in the description, but the retreat seems to use “koans” in a similar way as when Saki Santorelli would read Rumi poems to us during “Mindfulness Tools” for example, or as to some exercises we did in the practicum. The process described also seems to me like having the goal of cultivating mindfulness. I hereafter include the link to the retreat, but also a personal translation of some parts of the description, as the web site is in French.
Introspective Retreat based on the Zen Koans
Guided by ChandraKala and her team.
Powerful exercise of consciousness and presence, supported by the exploration of life koans that act as a the tread that guide us into our biggest mystery – Ourselves!
There will be times of silent meditation and rest that will allow the participant to integrate the moments of active communication / listening of the life koans, in order to bring some relaxing into the effort required in the process.
A « Koan » is a dynamic question that leads us to the core of who we are, with all of our sides and shades. It is used to cultivate a vision of reality as it is, beyond our fears, protections, justifications or judgments, so that we can have access to the whole (totality) of what we are – which includes both shadow and light. (…) This work opens up our vision and gives us access to a united whole – nothing to create or reject, everything to be reconciled. No analysis, no interpretation, no interference : only silent listening and free communication framed by silence.
« Who am I? Who’s inside? What are Life, the Other, Love, Freedom, Truth, Trust, etc ». The other communicates and I listen – I communicate and the other listens, in a reassuring protocol. But there are no conversations, no interrelations between participants. Everyone becomes a mirror and witness for everyone else in turn, but every participant remains alone in its unique and personal experience.
Different types of meditation, readings and resting periods will be part of the everyday routine, as well as individual meetings with Chandra to support each participant’s own process. Outside of the active practice periods, we remain in silence. "
Thank you for your usual support and help! It is greatly appreciated!