During July this year, I was priviledged to be at the “Wisdom of the Awakening Heart” Retreat at Taraloka. It was led by Vijayamala and Maitrivajri, two ordained Buddhists from the Triratna Buddhist Community. I realise that it is beneficial to attend retreats regularly to develop my own practice of mindfulness and meditation. In the past, I had attended classes by a range of teachers. I noticed that I found Maitrivajri’s style of teaching meditation to resonate with me and for that reason I chose this particular retreat.
The retreat ran for seven days and each day involved several hours of meditation, starting at 7am with a 90 minute session before breakfast. After breakfast there was a talk and another 90 minute session before lunch. In the afternoon, there was a third practice before supper and a final one before bed time. So each day, apart for helping out in varioius community related activites (such as helping to make a meal or with tidying up), there was ample opportunity to develop meditation experience. The retreat was also held in silence, from the second day to the second last day, allowing five days of no speaking (or speaking limited to essential moments) except during the two 10 minute meditation reviews, which for me, were on the third and 5th days of the retreat. I also enjoyed running each day and doing some yoga, and altogether this helped deepen the experience of being.
The meditation practices and talks were on an aspect of Buddhism called the “Mandala of the Five Prajnas”. The Prajnas (or ‘wisdoms’) are qualities that are beyond words and which need to be experienced to be understood, as they exist in the awareness we bring to our experiences. One ‘wisdom’ was in perceiving things as they are, thereby coming into relationship with our experiences in an authentic way. Another was in awareness of our shared humanity. The third wisdom was in noticing, accepting and rejoicing in our uniqueness and individuality. The fourth was in cultivating freedom and spontaneity in awareness. The fifth was in deepening awareness into something beyond words, the infinite and boundless present.
Overall the retreat was a much appreciated as a opportunity to cultivate insightful and deeper aspects of awareness. I hope that in reading this, you may feel inspired to explore the Mandala of the Five Prajnas. For more information, please get in contact.