By Catherine Sensei.
In a few days I’ll begin my first solitary retreat in over twenty years of spiritual practice, for a month. I’ve done month-long retreats before, and usually I was either helping organize or teach. So it’s been a while, or maybe it’s never been.
Learning To Meditate Off The Cushion It’s amazing when you enter a clear and radiant state on the meditation cushion. But can you keep it as you put the cushion away? How about during difficult times? In 2019, I participated in Clear Sky’s Karma Yoga program (Three-Month Intensive). During the program, the founding teachers Qapel
Challenging My View of Asperger’s Through Dharma Since I was little, I had this sense that I was different, but couldn’t put my finger on what it was. I did well in school and mostly got along with other kids. For sure, some kids sensed that I was a bit “unusual” in my social interactions
When the S*#! Hits the Fan, What Colour is Your Raincoat? The blow-up had been building for some time. It just needed the right spark to set off the explosion. Now, the shit was flying and if there was ever a time for some good protective clothing, this was it. I don’t like conflict and
One thing I gained from this taste of surrender was a feeling of deep peace and tranquility. When I didn’t care if I got what I wanted or not anymore, a true sense of freedom arose.
Instead of going through your day as you normally would, dedicate the day to looking at a particular question. It just takes a few minutes to reframe your day.
Ways to keep your meditation practice going When I first started meditating, it felt great. I’d had a little instruction and I started sitting at home, alone, every morning. With that, I was leaving for work every day with a state of calm and bliss, and my days were simply going much better. The fact
My default state used to be anxiety, with some fear thrown in for good measure. I don’t know why. For whatever reason, I’m just prone to feeling anxious without any apparent cause. Over the last 20 years, though, my anxiety lessened as I learned and then practiced meditation. My first experience was a mindfulness meditation
Heal your mind – and expand your consciousness – and your body comes along for a much more easeful ride, despite still being subject to death, decay, and impermanence. And the interesting thing is that it works both ways – when we change the body, we also change the mind.
If you’re wondering why we require a three-night minimum in our cabins, it’s to honor the process of retreat time. Three nights is still a very short retreat, but it does allow for the possibility of something magical to happen between arriving, settling in, and the “I’m leaving soon” thoughts.
One of our regular blog contributors, and the Secretary of our Board of Directors, Dan O’Brien, has just completed another cabin retreat at Clear Sky. Before he went into retreat, he wrote the following thoughts about why he does regular meditation retreats. Dan: One of the key ways I nurture myself is by taking the
Being by ourselves in a solo retreat creates the opportunity for three important explorations or insights:
Alone in a crowd: We can examine the concept of being alone
Who is alone?: We can explore the fear of abandonment and death
I’m dancing as fast as I can: We can see our habitual patterns of avoiding connecting with our inner depth
Do you find it tough transitioning from your working day back into your home life? Or going into work on Monday morning after a weekend with friends and family?
It’s a whole other shift of gears to transition into the energy of a retreat center.
It’s always strange being asked where I’ll be going for my two week Christmas holiday, because these past few years it’s always been, “On a meditation retreat.” This response can invoke an inquisitive look, although these days most people I meet know someone who has done something similar. Still, they often have trouble imagining doing