I’ve just put Chapter 6 up on my site.
This tells the story of a koan retreat at Maenllwyd. In January 2002 John Crook ran the first of what has now become one of his regular kinds of retreats – a koan retreat. On the first morning we were all given a list of several koans and hua-tous (stories) and were told to choose one to work on for the whole of a week. This was wonderful for me – as you have gathered I love working on difficult qustions and up there in the mountains seemed the perfect place to be doing it.
As usual with retreats things did not work out as I had expected. The intensity of practice, the other people around, the interviews with the “master” and all these things contribute to a very different kind of experience from working by myself at home. The emotional ups and downs are much tougher, the insights can be dramatic, but the struggle is great and the pitfalls scary.
I look forward to your comments about this one.
If you’re interested in consciousness you might like to comment on what I thought I found out about it. Have you had simialr experiences? Do you think there is any validity to my claiming that I had really found out something about “the contents of cosnciousness”, or is introspection (for that’s all this is) forever doomed as a way of finding out general principles about the mind?
You might also like to comment on the interview. There are other interviews to come – some rather difficult, and I am always left wondering about them.