“So let me ask you all: What has so far been the matter with you? What do you lack? If I tell you that nothing whatsoever is the matter, then I’ve already buried you; you yourself must arrive at that realization because one of these days something will be very much the matter!”
– Yunmen

I find this quote from Yunmen about ‘What’s the matter?’ to be very encouraging, and at the same time challenging. Being told that nothing is the matter challenges my ideas about reality. Being asked what I think I lack helps me appreciate that the questioner knows what it is to feel that lack, which opens me to what they have to say about it.

What he says about it is that telling me that I lack nothing will bury me, which is about my needing to realize it for myself. The last bit about ‘one of these days’ reminds me that I’m going to die one of these days, so I don’t want to waste time thinking something’s the matter, when it isn’t, like with the giraffes in the photo above.

– David Weinstein


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About Urban Retreats

The Urban Retreat format is a user friendly, easily approachable way of participating in a meditation retreat. Starting at 9:30 we will have three 25 minute periods of meditation with a break in between each. Then we will explore the ‘random meditation’ of having tea and conversation together before comparing field notes about our experience with the koan. Then we will have a two hour break for lunch, bring your own or explore one of the fine restaurants in Rockridge and in the afternoon we will meditate, hang out with another koan and have a conversation about our experience, ending at 5 p.m.

The retreat will be limited to 16 people to preserve an intimate atmosphere for sharing deeply what arises in meditation.

Fee: $65 members & $85 non-members
Registrar: Vickie Miller – vickieix8@gmail.com

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