I went to a retreat and nobody showed up!
That is totally fictitious but that is how I felt when I first got to the Portland Buddhist Priory on Sunday morning. Rev. Clarissa quickly explained that the retreat was going at a cabin the monks had rented out by the coast. If I had been paying attention to my e-mails. I would have known that too. Feeling bold, I stayed. Rev. Clarissa was kind enough to let me and seemed happy to have someone holding down the meditation hall. She did do the Morning Office Ceremony (two times) but that was the only interruption during my retreat by alone.
This was the first time I have ever sat this many sittings by myself and as it happens I am actually kind of glad I was able to do the retreat by alone. I was able to get up and stretch out my legs and do kinhin (so called walking meditation) when the time felt right to stretch my legs and was not worried about maintaining a schedule, or waiting for bells to ring or for clappers to clap. I think that those things would be good too but trying out an all day sitting by alone with no extras is really just what I needed.
Nothing special happened either. My backside was terribly sore from sitting by the end of the day along with my right knee, but other than that just nice and boring Zazen.
I do think I am going to try and do a retreat at least once a month now. Even thought it also seems like it is really boring. Maybe that is exactly why it is so important. I don’t really know, but I kind of think that maybe that that boredom is a good thing.