The importance of going on retreat, during what many consider these really difficult times, may be self-evident, but it bears repeating! Taking a retreat is nurturing dedicated time to spend with yourself and just BE; a time to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit; to re-connect with your authentic self; to re-connect with nature; to quiet yourself deeply; or to engage in spiritual or consciousness practice.
Stepping out of “ordinary time,” a retreat can teach what Nature does: it finds its way to BALANCE. Nature has rhythms and cycles, and as we retreat, we feel more connected to our own cycles. We are then restored to a natural sense of flow. Having relaxed and let go of all our responsibilities, our breathing gets easier, we listen with more sensitivity to our bodies, and we notice that our mental chatter has died down. Retreats are also great for connecting with creativity and for gaining a new perspective on life. By being closer to nature we are available for all the wisdom Mother Earth has to impart, when we slow down and take the time to listen.
In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in which I study, there is an emphasis on creating a “boundary,” a very clear demarkation that sets this time apart as being special, even sacred. We not only need to take time away from the concerns of our daily lives, but to commit to some deeper process of releasing, letting go, and clearing. What causes the constant state of contraction in American life has more to do with piling on more and more, having too much of everything, rather than a deficiency of space or stillness. We choose to fill our lives endlessly, allowing in more data than our brains and bodies can process. And we wonder we we feel overwhelmed!
In Kat and Shannon’s 2017 yoga and meditation retreat, you will also learn how to apply breathing practices, movement and asana, meditation techniques and Ayurvedic understanding of the body’s healing abilities, to deeply nourish and benefit the body-mind system. Important clearing practices will also be explained and practiced, so that true spaciousness opens up in your body, and you recognize your mind as the open Blue Sky! Please consider joining us for what is sure to be an amazing time on Whidbey Island at the Aldermarsh Retreat Center this September 7-10!!