Ordinary Mind is the Way:
A Weekend Retreat
Saturday and Sunday, November 4 & 5
“Ordinary Mind is where we find deeper and deeper levels of what our consciousness actually is.
We’re not studying rarefied states of mind. We’re coming home to absolutely ordinary states of mind, but coming to know them more intimately, more thoroughly.
In doing this, we find that our most ordinary experience is everything we could ever want.”
– Henry Shukman
A message from Henry:
After two and a bit years of Original Love, it seems like a lovely time to offer a retreat that really brings together its core teachings and practices.
What I’ve learned about Original Love over these last nearly two and a half years of running this program is that original love will meet us wherever we’re at. It does away with any sense of needing meditative accomplishment. We don’t need to be meditation adepts, we don’t need to pass any barriers or any high bars in our practice. Original Love just meets us right where we are.
This brings to mind a well-known phrase from Zen: “Ordinary Mind is the Way.”
The phrase “Ordinary Mind is the Way” is a teaching that was given to the great Zen master Zhaozhou (Joshu) by his teacher Nanchuan (Nansen). The record of their dialogue, and Zhaozhou’s resulting insight, is a koan that we’ll be covering in this weekend retreat.
What is the essence of Ordinary Mind? It is a coming home to this moment – as it is. Letting this moment be our life. Really letting this moment be where we find the answer to all that we feel we’re seeking. That’s where we come to rest. And that’s where we find a kind of rest that’s alive.
That is where we find these deeper and deeper levels of what our consciousness actually is.
Which brings us to what our existence actually is. We’re not studying rarefied states of mind. We’re coming home to absolutely ordinary states of mind, but coming to know them more intimately, more thoroughly.
In doing this, we find that our most ordinary experience is everything we could ever want.
That’s the path of Zen, of deep meditation, of Original Love. And that’s what this phrase “Ordinary Mind is The Way” is pointing us to.
With love and gratitude,
About our Weekend Retreat
In our final offering of 2023, we’re going to be sinking into our ordinary experience more deeply than perhaps we ordinarily do. Coming to know ordinary mind more deeply, more intimately, more richly.
In getting ready for this retreat you don’t really need to do anything. Just come as you are. In terms of physical preparation, it might be nice to find a spot where you can be quiet and at peace. You could also put aside the phone, switch off the email, give yourself this time to be with yourself. Coming home – this retreat helps us set aside space and time for coming home to ourselves.
We will be doing meditative practices and exercises that will be designed to help us all sink into ordinary mind and really become soaked in it, saturated in it. In doing so, the present moment pervades us, and there’s no longer any resistance to it. My hope is that this will be a weekend of peace and restoration.
Saturday and Sunday, November 4 & 5, 9:30am – 3pm MT
For those of you in different time zones, or who can’t make the scheduled meeting times – the whole retreat will be recorded, and you will have access to recordings about ten days after the event.
Original Love is 100% online.
We have scholarships available. We don’t want anybody not to be able to attend this retrea because of financial need. If you need financial assistance, please contact Jeremy, the Original Love Program Manager.
If you have any questions about this retreat, please contact Jeremy. We’re happy to answer any questions and look forward to having you join us!
FREE 15-MINUTE GUIDED MEDITATION
We're excited to share a new 15-minute guided meditation on sitting with challenging conditions of the mind and heart that Henry has created.
The early Buddhist tradition identifies several states that tend to make it difficult to meditate. But these can be transformed into opportunities for growth. They can come to nourish our practice.
Discover how to transform challenges in meditation in ways that help to break old patterns. Learn to practice acceptance, welcoming, and self-love, by mindfully tending to disruptive thoughts and emotions. By inviting vulnerability, by letting ourselves be the way we are, and even loving the way we are, we can expand our self-acceptance, our self-understanding, and our capacity for love, peace and wonder.