For the past few years, I’ve been the volunteer who picks up a dozen dense, aromatic, freshly baked loaves at Cress Spring bakery and delivers them to the kitchen at our annual SnowFlower Sangha retreat. I enjoy the fact that I deliver this nourishment to my sangha and that we literally break this bread together several times over the weekend as we sit and eat in noble silence.
And while the bread nourishes our physical bodies, our shared presence nourishes our spiritual bodies. I am nourished by the energy of one hundred people meditating alongside me. I am nourished walking silently through the woods in the company of my sangha, enjoying the crisp autumn air and the colorful leaves. I am nourished in our discussion groups, when we share the challenges of our practice.
In a way, a retreat is like a wonderful pot luck. Each participant brings the nourishment of their true self to share with all others, and the variety of flavors is truly wonderful to behold.