The Eno River Buddhist Community (ERBC) will host a women’s retreat, November 6-8, focused on establishing mindfulness of the body through contemplation of the four elements. Callie Justice, long-time leader in ERBC, will lead the retreat, drawing on her extensive study and practice with the early Buddhist teachings on establishing mindfulness (satipaṭṭhāna). Here is the brief description:
The Buddha taught contemplation of the four elements as a practice for establishing mindfulness of the body, which is a key aspect of right mindfulness—the seventh factor of the Noble Eightfold Path. Contemplation of the four elements (earth, water, fire, wind) appears as a core teaching on cultivating right mindfulness in all currently available versions of the early discourses. On this retreat, participants will be supported to develop mindfulness of each element both internally—within our individual bodies—and externally—as we encounter the elements in the world around us. The interweaving of mindfulness of the elements throughout the activities of the day as well as during meditation will be encouraged.
This women’s retreat will be limited to 11 participants. A framework will be provided as a container for the practice of the group as a whole. Within that framework, there will be space for each individual to discern what she needs to do at any given time in order to wisely develop her personal retreat experience. The retreat will be held in noble silence. The retreat environment will be structured to support the cultivation of continuous careful attention (yoniso manasikāra) both on and off the cushion. Dhamma talks, instruction in breath meditation, guided contemplations and interviews with Callie will be offered. The retreat is intended to benefit both those who are new to the Buddha’s path and those who are more experienced.