Our sharing about the Wake Up Music Retreat in April in a letter to Thay:
Plum Village, 7.6.2014
Yesterday at the Dharma talk you said that you would like us to share with you how we generate joy and handle suffering.
We would like to share with you and the whole Sangha about the Wake Up Music Retreat we had at the EIAB in April. It was an amazing retreat where we generated so much joy, happiness and love 🙂
After a very short period it felt like we’d known each others for years. There was a deep feeling of familiarity and togetherness. It seems these connections don’t require time. A smile, a warm look or a gentle touch was enough to feel safe and accepted. During our last sharing one retreatant said: “You are all beautiful flowers and day by day I could see you blooming more beautifully.”
Music has a unique power and this served as a catalyst. Held in the rich soil of the EIAB our hearts opened leading to inner and collective transformation. In tune with the full moon, we shared a healing circle singing an African-American spiritual song to give strength, called “Power in the heart”. We surrendered, cried and laughed, celebrated and healed. We also invoked the name of Avalokiteshvara in a circle. These chants offer unique medicine from the garden of humanity. With the growing energy of mindfulness we could learn to sense what was needed in each moment: silence, a soft song to hold our pain in tenderness, or – and we noticed that this is very important – to “change the CD” and raise our spirits with a joyful, uplifting and energetic song.
It is fascinating how quickly a fresh tune, rhythm or harmony can change our mood. Music’s vibrations and synchronicity help us feel instant joy and connection, getting us in touch with our true nature. We also touch our heritage and ancestors with the music that has continued across space and time. While consuming music can be distraction, tuning mindfully into the kind of music that is full of wholesome energies has helped us to generate joy and transform parts of our suffering.
We had some tensions while organising the retreat. On lazy day we facilitators had a long Dharma sharing, staying silent for some time or perhaps playing music. We found this enabled healing and happiness: being there for ourselves and each other with our true presence, love, joy and compassion.
It is so wonderful to feel connected and to both be loved and give our love and presence to others.
We are deeply grateful for all you give, do and teach and for the great support and trust of the brothers and sisters – thank you so much, dear Thay and beloved community!
Dear Thay, what you shared yesterday about the vow you made after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King “to continue Sangha building” really touched us deeply.
We are very committed and motivated to building and nourishing Sanghas and we are sure that the Wake Up movement will grow beautifully with the support of you, your continuation body in us and the whole Sangha.
Many smiles and lots of love,
Charlie, Jona and Nadine