Reflections on Metta Weekend Retreat
The group met recently for our Metta focussed meditation weekend retreat in the beautiful Upper Coquet valley in rural Northumberland. A small group included a retreatant who had travelled from Sheffield to join us, so a welcoming conversation over dinner on friday evening was enjoyed by all. The arrangements for the retreat were planned collaboratively, followed by the establishment of silence for the remainder of the retreat. The programme over the weekend included dhamma talks from both Sharon Salzberg and Donald Rothberg, which explored metta from a led metta meditation through to ways to realise metta in everyday life. This was interspersed with periods of sitting and walking meditation, as well as the opportunity for a longer nature walk in the beautiful, quiet Cheviot countryside right from the doorstep of the bunkhouse.
The weather wasn’t always kind to us, but the roaring log fire stove in the bunkhouse kept things warm and toasty for everyone. Overall the weekend was appreciated by all who attended both for the opportunity to explore and meditate for a more extended period than possible outside of a formal retreat situation, and for the conducive peace, solitude and beauty of the retreat location. At the end of the weekend the drive out from the bunkhouse offered a wonderful opportunity for reflection on the messages and themes of the retreat and slow return back to the concerns of everyday life.