This past Saturday, July 18, 2020, the Tallahassee Chan Center concluded a 7-day fully Online Chan Retreat, with 50 registered participants. This retreat was held in conjunction with a live, in-person retreat held for the Chan Bern group facilitated by Hildi Thalmann (Chang She) in Switzerland. Guo Gu provided Dharma talks twice a day for the group, and opened up the talks to the wider Tallahassee Chan Center and included timekeeping activities to create a full-online retreat environment. The online retreatants also were able to access an interactive Q&A session held by Guo Gu at the end of each night, with optional interviews for full retreatants.
To facilitate our full retreat, we had two timekeepers in attendance to provide live, virtual timekeeping. This included standing and sitting yoga, walking meditation, and encouraged work practice.Maria provided morning and afternoon timeekeping, while Tom provided the evening timekeeping. There were 12 registered full retreatants meditating online from 7:30AM – 10PM each day.
At each dharma talk, we had 30-40 participants join the meditation and talks, three times. At the end of sharing, many participants resonated that their experience of punctuating their workday with Dharma talks and meditation helped them integrate Chan into daily life.
A Global Experience
Location held no barrier for this retreat, as our participants tuned in from across multiple states in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Australia, and of course, Switzerland.
To conclude the retreat, we asked our participants to smile for a virtual photo – see below for our smiling faces!