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February 27, 2013

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Kusa

Hello! Thank you for your practice! And the Bodhisattva beard looks fierce!

I look forward to these posts about your 100 day solo retreat. As a young practitioner, it is useful and inspiring to hear about your practice.

I was a little troubled, however, by the comparison of a solo retreat to solitary confinement. You are right that there must be many similarities. And from my own experience with solo retreats, the isolated nature of the retreat can be truly shocking. It made me cry, to be honest.

But solitary confinement is its own hell and nothing like solo retreats. And I would be hesitant to compare our privileged experience in a retreat we can exit at any time with those of the prisoners in solitary. I suggest watching this documentary about a prison not far from where I live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JInoR0h2nhM (in case that link didn't work, its Solitary Confinement, a National Geographic Documentary). What are your thoughts about the comparison after you watch it?

Please take these comments in the spirit of Dharma and appreciation. Thank you again for all that you do!
-kusa

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  • Zen teachers sometimes use the Ten Ox Herding Pictures to describe the path of awakening. Within this metaphorical framework, the ox symbolizes the secretive, unruly human mind.

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