Recently back from a 5 day retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains I wanted to share that experience with you and then offer another experience in return. This particular retreat was based on exploring comfort and relaxation in the body, even while turning toward the uncomfortable and anxiety driven conditions many of us live with regularly. It was based on Breathworks, meditations and exercises developed by Vidyamala Burch, and proven greatly effective over the years.
Each morning we rose in silence then met in the zendo, a Japanese style meditation hall, and were guided by Singhashri, in meditations based on experiencing our breath in a compassionate and accepting, curious manner. Later in the day we participated as a group and/or with a partner on what it means to carry around the burden of secondary suffering, the different tactics we often take in managing difficulty, (blocking and drowning), opening our senses to the beauty of the natural setting and examining the different hormones released while we operate in modes of either achievement, aversion or contentment. The days were also full of long walks, (or naps), connecting with friends and healthy delicious meals. Basically, the best conditions for nurturing your body and the body-mind connection.
I saw people emotionally experience the deep joy of really breathing in the beauty of nature, the realization that our experiences are not fixed as we imagine, but fluid and changing, and the freedom in choosing to let go of long held beliefs. All potentially life changing and life enhancing.
These are practices I am familiar and intimate with and still in awe of. They have helped me traverse a path I would not have chosen, and yet the one I thrive in daily. On Saturday, July 18th, at the San Francisco Buddhist Center, I am leading a day retreat that further encourages a deeper listening, a calming of the mental chatter, and support in finding a place of comfort that we can that we can rest in, as we reflect on the deep truths held in the body. Come experience the healing of a body scan, Hello body! the wonder of mindfully following your breath, Is this really what my diaphragm feels like?? perhaps some gentle movement Ahhh... and of course the curious questions that by now you all expect from me.
Many of you also know that often I will work some meditation into the coaching sessions we have together and often there is so little time. This Saturday we will relax into the time, fold into it, settle into the clarity of mind that only meditation can bring, and THEN drop some inquiries in and see what emerges. I would love to share with you and connect in this meaningful way and hope you will join me. Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or curious inquiries of your own!l