Pema Chodron's teachings on meditation reflect my wish for you while on retreat: "Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It is about befriending who we are already are. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest….We recognize our capacity to relax with the clarity, the space, the open-ended awareness that already exists in our minds. We experience moments of being right here that feel simple, direct, and uncluttered.”
On retreat, as we unplug from phones and computers and relax into the embrace of nature, a caring community and thoughtful teachings - so too do we unplug from demands on the person we have taken ourselves to be. We relax into who we really are. We begin to feel 'held' in safety, and open to knowing ourselves as we would a dear friend. We lighten up on our foibles, self-judgements, blame and striving and open to ease and joy that is already within.
During retreat, we explore many pathways to this sense of ease; yoga movement, meditation, breath work, sitting quietly in an ancient sacred space, laying under a blanket of twinkling stars, walking briskly in nature or diving into silky, warm waters.
Some of these paths may feel challenging or awkward but we notice our resistance and befriend that too. We choose to do or not-do with wisdom and pleasure. Day after day, this gentle care and self-inquiry delivers us to more clarity. With skills developed during the retreat, we re-enter our lives at home. Rather than a post-holiday "crash", we live our lives more skillfully than before.
Pain and difficulty are inevitable in life, being overwhelmed is not. We may feel off balance again but we never go back to where we were without these skills, resources and sense of connection. Unplug, slow down, let nature breathe you. There is nothing to fix, nobody that needs changing. Allow me to help create the ideal conditions for you to open to the brilliance you already are.