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Street Retreat Washington D.C. – October 2022

October 13 @ 2:00 pm - October 16 @ 11:00 am
Photo: McPherson Square, Washington DC

October 13 – October 16

Join us on the streets of Washington, D.C., for our October Street Retreat
Led by Joshin Byrnes, Guiding Teacher, Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community
and Bob Ertman, Guiding Teacher, Silver Spring Zendo/One Heart Sangha

*This street plunge will proceed barring unforeseen spikes in Covid among vaccinated people. You must be fully vaccinated to attend.  

2,500 years ago Shakyamuni Buddha led his monks each day in the practice of begging for food, receiving whatever was offered with gratitude. In this retreat we will plunge into a variation on this early Buddhist practice of letting go of attachments.

Bearing witness to life on the streets is a way to plunge into the unknown, which is crucial to our practice of healing the gap of separation between others and ourselves. We become more observant of ourselves and our surroundings. From this increased awareness, healing takes place.

We will live on the sidewalks of Washington, DC with no resources other than our true nature. We will beg for money, find places to get food, a place to sleep, bathrooms, etc. By bearing witness in this situation we start to directly see our impulses, assumptions, prejudices, and boundaries. Practicing with Not-Knowing and Bearing Witness we experience our interconnection, recognize our common humanness, and realize our responsibilities.

We begin our begging practice before our retreat starts by assembling a mala, or beads that are strung together and worn like a bracelet or necklace. Each bead represents a person who sponsors that participant’s street retreat, and the entire mala represents the community of support. We will wear our malas on the street retreat. Money collected through this begging practice will go to the social service agencies and public non-profit organizations that will support our lives on the street and to support the social action projects at Bread Loaf Mountain.

“When we go… to bear witness to life on the streets, we’re offering ourselves. Not blankets, not food, not clothes, just ourselves.” – Bernie Glassman, Bearing Witness

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More information: Registration@silverspringzendo.org

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