I spent this weekend on a retreat organised by the Birmingham Buddhist centre, where I have attended a class on meditation and Buddhism every Thursday for the last two and a half years or so.
The theme was the system of meditation as taught by the FWBO (Friends of the Western Buddhist Order), the organisation who run the centre. The system is based around two simple but highly effective meditation practices, the Mindfulness of Breathing and the Metta Bhavana. These two practices provide the enough to work with for several years of regular meditation, although other practices such as engaging more with the realities of death and impermanence were also discussed as something to flirt with for now and look forward to in the future.
The retreat took place in Big Mose basecamp, a National Trust property in Shropshire and consisted of lots of meditation (two sits beginning 7.30am) was well as talks, discussion and a ong walk in the beautiful countryside. It was an intimate experience, twelve relative strangers coming together for a brief time, but interacting quite beautifully, not the least due to the leadership of my friend Saraha. All in all a deeply satisfying experience.