Holding Ourselves and Others in Boundless Awake Compassion
5 DAY ADVANCED RETREAT
7:15 PM WEDNESDAY UNTIL NOON SUNDAY
AUGUST 26 - 30, 2020
As the Covid-19 virus continues to spread like a raging forest fire, we are all being asked to limit our personal interactions and stay at home. This presents an excellent opportunity. We can use this time for retreat. This summer our 5 Day Retreat will be virtual. To make it easy to participate given the constraints of the current situation, it will be more flexible and open than ever before. Most of us are living with other people with varied and different schedules. We realize you may need to take care of household errands, business, and relating with family members during the period of the retreat. Please, feel free to participate in whatever way your life allows. ALL of the online Zoom sessions will be recorded. If you miss a session, simply listen later. We will try to make recordings available by the next day. If you do have to miss sessions, try your best to keep the retreat alive in whatever you are doing.
Retreat FormatThere will be 3 practice sessions each day. The mornings and evenings will take place online via Zoom:
- The morning Zoom session (9:30 am – 12 noon) will include guided and/or silent meditation as well as a talk.
- Afternoons are set aside for personal time and silent meditation on your own. The detailed schedule to guide your sitting and walking practice appears below. If you can follow the schedule, that’s ideal retreat immersion. But if that’s not possible, participate as you are able and create a meditation schedule that works best for you.
- At 4:30 in the afternoons Scott will perform the Medicine Buddha practice of distant healing to enhance your practice, remove obstacles, and provide physical/emotional healing and balancing. These 45-minute sessions will not take place on Zoom. You simply lie down at that time and receive the energy of the Medicine Buddha.
- The evening online Zoom session (7:30 – 9 pm) will include meditation, a short talk and discussion.
Awakening and The Focus For This RetreatThe word “awakening” is used more and more these days especially with reference to meditation. But what it means can differ greatly depending on the context. We can ‘wake up’ in any number of ways. For example, in Mindfulness Meditation if we drift into wandering mind, when we notice that, and come back to the present moment, we sometimes say that we woke up. But this is not what we mean here by ‘awakening’. This retreat is not a traditional Mindfulness Retreat. We reserve the term “Awakening” (with a capital “A”) to refer to the beginning of the radical process of Enlightenment – as experienced by the Buddha and other great meditation masters. It means Awakening from the illusion of being a solid, separate “me”, into recognizing the universal undivided consciousness of our true nature. Awakening initiates a complete shift in our sense of “identity.” Therefore it is not necessarily the right path for those who are not ready to make such a shift. Awakening begins when our everyday awareness relaxes its constant grasping after objects of experience, looks directly at the very ground of experiencing, and recognizes itself to be completely pure, clear and content-free. When awareness truly sees itself, the habitual, contracted ‘small self’ dissolves into a spontaneous presence that is awake, boundless, and intimately connected with all that is. Moments of true insight happen first as mere glimpses but even a glimpse can catalyze a profound shift in our experience. With practice we learn to let go again and again into the simplicity of unfabricated presence. Then gradually habitual mind surrenders and our essential Being reveals itself spontaneously. This brings experiences of deep well-being, wholeness, and joy. Felt through the heart, essential Being is the very source of love, compassion, gratitude, and generosity. Realization brings an end to all seeking because we recognize that everything we have been looking for is already and always present as the essence of who we are. The meditative style of Awakening is not the practice of deliberate mindfulness. Instead it is about recognizing the natural qualities of the awareness that is always already here – Awareness itself, effortlessly mindful, ever present and already awake. When mind habits of grasping and rejecting arise – which they will – the practice is about releasing them like insubstantial waves of consciousness dissolving into the ocean of compassionate awareness. It becomes easier and easier to let be and let go. The waves naturally settle back into all-encompassing Presence. The unconditional compassion of our innate awake awareness holds all that we are, as well as absolutely everyone and everything in its boundless embrace. This will be the focus of this retreat.
Co-Creating AwakeningMuch of the power of retreat lies in the charged atmosphere of sustained group practice, our mutual authenticity, our willingness, and the fact that awakening can be shared. Even though not in the same room, you will experience the heightened atmosphere of mutual awakening as we practice together. You will be guided towards continuous recognition and sustained experience of your most essential Being, which is eternally awake. For those who have already recognized awake awareness, retreat practice increases meditative stability, deepens insight, brings forth beneficial qualities, and dissolves the boundary between meditation and daily life. Your guide is a highly trained teacher praised for his abilities to impart instructions in a clear, compassionate, practical way. The teachings are non-denominational and draw primarily from Buddhism as well as other non-dual wisdom traditions of the East and West informed by modern contemporary psychology and neuroscience.
|(Zoom Session)||7:15pm Sharp! – 9:00 pm||Meditation, Talk|
|Thursday – Saturday|
|(Zoom Session)||9:30am – 12 noon||Guided/Silent Meditations and Talk|
|(Offline)||12 noon – 2:00pm||Lunch and Personal time|
|2:00pm – 2:45pm||Silent Meditation|
|2:45pm – 3:15pm||Silent Walk or Break|
|3:15pm – 4:00pm||Silent Meditation|
|4:00pm – 4:30pm||Silent Walk or Break|
|4:30pm – 5:15pm||Receiving Medicine Buddha Healing|
|5:15pm – 7:30pm||Dinner and Personal Time|
|(Zoom Session)||7:30pm – 9:00pm||Meditation, Talk or Discussion|
|(Zoom Session)||9:30am – 12 Noon||Meditation, Talk, Discussion|
Patron Price: $225
Discount Price: $199
Earlybird Discount by August 15: $179
***If you would like to attend but cannot afford the full cost of this retreat, please contact us. We can help! Our community maintains a Generosity Fund to help everyone participate so PLEASE contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cancellations: If you need to cancel, you must notify us by sending an email to email@example.com. Full tuition refunds will be issued for cancellations received at least one week prior to the start date. Account credit towards a future program will be given when canceling less than one week prior to the start date. But no refunds or credits will be issued for cancellations received less than 24 hours before the start. Instead, you will receive access to recordings of the live Zoom sessions.