I'm recently out of retreat, so forgive me for saying things I might not otherwise. Perhaps inexplicably, sitting and walking in silence for 10 days is a heart-opening experience. There's no obvious reason why it should be so, but if you listen to the Buddha, he'll tell you that love is the natural state that comes from a clear and quiet mind. If that's so, it makes me wonder what obscures it in our everyday life.
On this retreat I heard compassion defined as: "the quivering of the heart in response to another's suffering." What a beautiful description - the description alone is enough to make my heart quiver. It's a tender place that we may not spend enough time in - even though it's always accessible, and we can always practice opening our hearts to others. Why wouldn't we want to do that? What keeps us from at least making the honest effort? It's not such a hard practice, and when we try, the whole world smiles.
Mundane details to follow soon, as well as more photos...