February 17-24, 2018: Seven-Day Silent Meditation Retreat with Wayne and Susan Schepp – This retreat takes place in mid-February. Wayne and Susan will alternate giving morning talks, take part together in the afternoon group dialogues and be available for private meetings.
The following quote from Wayne may be of interest to anyone asking what is the value of attending retreat.
. . . there’s . . . a sense that people find strength in working together. . . . The coming together of people in a retreat to sit together, to dialogue together and to question—one on one with the person giving the talks or with each other—facilitates this inquiry. The quiet presence of each other deepens and strengthens the energy of the sitting as well. Even if, in the sitting, something comes up that’s disturbing, we may see that it’s okay, that it’s good that the disturbing stuff is exposed. And there is this possibility of working with each other, seeing what comes up, what kind of clashes may occur, even in a retreat environment. . . . It’s a chance to see our reactions and our interactions, as they play out, in a silent community, in communion with each other as well as in . . . a personal quest. — from a new book, Cypress Trees in the Garden, the Second Generation of Zen Teaching in America by Richard McDaniel.
Wayne Coger has led retreats since 2001. For more than 30 years he worked with Toni Packer, and previously he studied at the Rochester Zen Center. Wayne has been on staff at Springwater Center since 1983, and in December 2015 was appointed to the position of Administrator by the Board of Trustees.
“Toni Packer asked me if I would share the work that we do with others. While I have never had any desire to become a ‘teacher,’ exploring the work of meditative inquiry has been my deepest joy and passion for many years. What excites me is this possibility to look at anything and everything freshly, without inhibitions or strictures. It is through this open inquiry that we begin to learn about ourselves. To learn how we are when we are not bound by our ideas and self-images.”
In Wayne’s booklet A Moment of Stillness: Questions about Meditation and Inquiry, the question is asked: “Can you say something about how you find inner peace through meditation?”
Wayne responds in part, “Breathing, thinking, the sounds that come and go–can awareness take all of this in, without preference? It does happen and it really is possible. Thought, the troubled mind, cannot bring about the quiet, the relief we crave, but this wondrous stillness is here, present when we stop all of our doing–our manipulations and our trying. Stillness is at the heart of direct listening, direct being with and there is nothing we need to do to bring it about. We are this stillness and stillness is not something we need to attain. Meditation, awareness, allows us to see clearly what is here, what we truly are and what we originally are–whole and complete, not lacking anything.”
In addition to his work at the Center, Wayne is an enthusiatic swimmer, participating in local masters swim meets. He lives nearby with his wife Susan McCallum. You can contact Wayne via the Center or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.