Blue Cliff Monastery – Day 6

This morning we “slept in” until 6am and then headed down to the hall for the transmission of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.  I thought for a while about whether or not I would receive all five, but after talking to one of the monks and one of my bunkmates who had already received the trainings, I felt more comfortable about taking a broader interpretation of some of the trainings.  The ceremony for receiving the trainings was beautifully done and I’m glad to have gone through the process as a way of really intentionally brining these practices into my life.

After the ceremony, we received our dharma name and practiced Hugging Meditation.  In hugging meditation, you fully embrace the person across from you and breathe in and out with them for three breaths.  It’s a really wonderful practice – one that my friend, Shirley, has fully mastered (she gives the best hugs).

And then it was time to go.  We cleaned up our room, packed our bags and I grabbed some lunch for the road.  The ride home was uneventful and even though I took the same four highways on the return route, it felt less chaotic, less overwhelming than the ride down.

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