Silent Retreats: the stepping stone towards Awake World
In a busy world like today, it’s hard to even think about squeezing time in to just relax and not do anything… much less considering time spent in a quiet environment to practice silence. Could you imagine not talking for extended long hours at a time? Why would anyone want to do that? Here’s the little secret we would like to share.
For a long time, the founder and Awake teacher at Universal Door Meditation Center, Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien, has known the benefits of silent retreats and has opened 1-3-5-day retreats as a stepping stone for people to help them discover a hidden treasure inside. This treasure is called Awake. For 16 years after Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien’s Awakening, there is not one minute that passes that she does not guide people to looking within themselves in order to touch and live with this Awake treasure of true happiness and freedom.
Silent retreats are a great stepping stone and practice for beginners to get a chance to really know and understand who they truly are… Awake. Attending these types of retreats help many people to recognize the non-stop chatter that happens in their head, but not follow it or get pulled into the stories and drama. That may sound simple, but the results are profound; many realizations happen during silent retreats. However, at Universal Door it doesn’t end there.
Recently Universal Door had their official Grand Opening, introducing Awake World: a place of no suffering, stress, conflicts, judging, blaming, no fear, no hatred, no more confusion. All that exists is true happiness, true freedom, complete wisdom, unlimited compassion; everyday life is open, easy, flexible, clear, bright, and much more that even words cannot describe. Many people came to learn more about what Awake World is, about the founding teacher, and why they need to Wake Up soon. In the middle of this grand opening to introduce the Awake Center, was a 7-day retreat happening where people and students from all over the US and several different countries came together from different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and ages, to connect with the Awake teacher and her teachings.
How could there be a huge Grand Opening event for hundreds of people in the middle of a meditation retreat?! Because of Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien’s guidance towards Awakening, the students had advanced from silent retreats to another level of retreats that offer the opportunity for students to speak, share, interact, work, volunteer, plan, organize, and have high levels of engagement all with the goal towards being Awake and turning towards the Zen Master for guidance to Wake Up. It was such a huge success and many students had deeper levels of touching the Awake treasure within. Zen Master’s many styles of retreats are never boring, and no two retreats are ever the same! Each and every retreat, whether 1, 3, 5, 7, or even 10 days, is totally unique yet brings the students closer and closer to living Awake. Her style to help people Wake Up is not ever stuck in a certain method.
Beginning with silent retreats is a good intro, however it is also good to shift gears and bump it up a notch to bring what we realized into our everyday living and apply it there. Can you live every day in silence? That wouldn’t make much sense… and truly this is the aspect that many people and students love and appreciate about Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien. Her real-life examples, her spontaneous ways of teaching, and lessons that can be applied and brought into the students’ everyday lives are practical and profound. She Wakes people up to open their eyes to see the truth about life and themselves in ways that are so clear and easy to understand.
Zen Master’s goal is to help everyone realize the original Awake already within themselves, return to it, and live from it. She tells students that we need to Wake Up soon, because only in Awake World can we know true silence within, able to go anywhere or do anything and be disturbed by nothing.
We highly recommend that those of you who have not experienced a silent retreat to do so, and begin the journey towards Awake soon. At Universal Door, Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien teaches in a way that reaches all levels of practitioners at the same time, opening their eyes to things they never knew before. Come and experience what Awake World is like step by step, starting with silent retreats and continue to move forward opening yourself to experience the world that Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien lives in day after day…the world of Awake, where nothing but true happiness exists and to live in that day after day, moment after moment. Hope to see you in Awake World soon!
Please visit our website at www.universaldoor.org, or call us at 281-565-9718 for our upcoming schedule or more information.