Contract for an Occasional Retreat (Recite together:)

We have come to this place to create together a living monastery of the spirit, a place wherein to practice the extraordinary perception of silence, a place wherein to practise the recollection of mind, kindness to one another and reflection on the life and death of every minute.


We have come to experience together the quiet joy of the changing moods of nature without and yet also within us. In particular we have come to attempt a personal resolution of our peculiar koan. Together we seek the freedom of silence peace and insight. May all beings find equanimity.


Our contract together we well understand:

We vow to maintain silence at all times except those designated for talk or for the giving of essential information.

We vow to use our silence in opening ourselves to the world.

We vow to bow in gratitude for life, for being together in this place and time. We bow knowing full well that a man or woman cannot live without suffering. We bow knowing full well that a man or woman cannot live without at some time hurting another. We bow in the knowledge that the path to peace may lead through hell. We bow in contrition, gratitude, tenderness.

We vow to practise the dropping of all attributes in the search for No-mind...opening our eyes to all that comes in the Cloud of Unknowing.

We vow to penetrate the obscurities of our personal questions and to dissolve all blocks.

We vow to work in the spirit of giving and to cast whatever merit we gain upon the winds for the benefit of others.

We vow to train ourselves appropriately in accordance with our true nature, mindful of the Universe in which we dwell and in compassion for all.


Our wish for one another is equanimity of spirit.


Let us now begin!