Posts Tagged 'retreat'

have you come over? there’s a contest!

My new site, Love Wasting Time, is up and running!

And now you have a way to sign up for posts — direct to your email or reader.

Have you been by?

If not, you’ll definitely want to check out this week’s contest (my first ever!).

You can win a weekend retreat with Pema Chödrön — in the comfort of your own home. This weekend the virtual retreat, Pema Live, will broadcast from the Omega Institute. Pema is teaching on Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change.

Come on over and leave a comment to enter to win.

Oh, and, Blogasana will self destruct in… well, never. But I won’t be posting here anymore. So come over to Love Wasting Time and get all the goods you loved here and more.

xo

 

let’s sit together


Photo credit: Ashlee Gadd

After missing the Women’s Meditation Retreat at Spirit Rock last year, I promised myself I’d go this year.

But for a myriad of different reasons, I am not going again.

I attended this retreat for two consecutive years and had profound, albeit different, experiences at each. It’s a highly scheduled, controlled, quiet, introspective time. For me it was as painful as it was peaceful (as sitting with yourself can be), and the effects stayed with me for weeks/months/ever.

In part, I look to this retreat to reconnect me with my sitting practice, which admittedly ebbs and flows. After a week of sitting 4-5 hours throughout the day, 30 minutes in the morning seems pretty doable.

But why does it have to be so extreme?

Why do I need to jump back in with 4-5 hours of sitting (and 3-4 hours of walking meditation) to get started?

Isn’t it the small steps that count? The day to day that makes a difference?

Would you like to sit together?

As a form of accountability, and also because it is wonderful to sit with other people, I invite you to virtually sit with me for the next 3 weeks: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:15 – 6:30 am. Rise with the sun at 6, pee, get some tea, get what you need to be comfortable, and get online. I’ll ring the bell at 6:15, we’ll sit together in quiet, and the bell will indicate the closure of our sit 15 minutes later.

Maybe you’ve never tried sitting meditation, or you have tried and you felt completely tortured, or you sit twice a day and watch the thought clouds pass by. Skill, experience, even affinity for sitting do not matter.

Why? or How?

I have had periods of mostly peaceful — or at least not combative — sitting. And, I’ve had periods of such distraction and discomfort that getting through five minutes was all I could bear.

What I know is this: no matter what the quality of the sit — how “right” I think I did it — my day is better for it. My state of mind is more clear. My attention is more present. I am more patient and connected.

If you are interested (oh, I hope you are…) email me at michelle@itsallyoga.com and I will send all the details on the virtual magic that will make this possible.

There is room for 12 people in this virtual experience, including me. So if you would like to sit together, contact me soon.

Other logistics

When will it be?
Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 10th – 26th from 6:15-6:30 am.

Do I have to “attend” each sit?
No, but it would be super cool if you did.

I work/sleep/do something else at that time, will you do it again?
Probably! Just know that I am (as are millions of others) sitting at that time. If you remember to feel your breath, you’ll be connected to it as well.

I don’t have a computer. Or I have a computer but I don’t have built-in video.
If you don’t have a computer, we will sit together in spirit.
If you have a computer with speakers, you’ll be able to see and hear me, but I won’t see or hear you.
If you have a microphone, we’ll hear each other.
And if you have video, we’ll see and hear each other.

How expensive, techy, and complicated will this be?
It’s free.
Techy? I figured it out. And that says a lot. I’ll send a link, you’ll click the link, and sign in as a guest — nothing to download or sign up for.
It really is that easy. I tested it with Bubby and he got it, easy peezy. (And I’m the technical mastermind in the family. Frightening, I know.)

I’ve never meditated. Will these be guided?
These will not be guided meditations.  There are some free guided meditations on this site with different techniques for focusing attention. The over-simplified way to approach it is: just sit with yourself, as you are, without pushing your thoughts or feelings away or getting completely wrapped up in them.

I don’t know you. Will that be weird?
Won’t be weird for me.

Have other questions?
Just ask.

Or just do it! It’s six mornings. A hour and a half out of your month. Little steps. We’ll take them together! Email me at michelle@itsallyoga.com.

A Retreat in Pictures

Hard to say

So many things came up during my weekend retreat.

Many hard things. Many beautiful things.

Here are eight of them.

  1. I gauge my worth on how productive I am. How much I “get done.”
  2. The state of the mind is merciless and can go from utter and boundless joy to absolute rage in a heartbeat.
  3. The acknowledgment of both perfection and despair bring me to tears.
  4. The possibility of someone sitting “with” me made sitting so much easier.
  5. Insights that are so profound in the moment fade with time and later seem less astonishing, less impactful. I want to know how to keep the immediacy of the insight alive.
  6. Being “in the moment” is very anti-climactic. There’s no fanfare, no fireworks. It is brilliantly and perfectly ordinary.
  7. Making breakfast, lunch and dinner from scratch felt very extravagant. It was a beautiful thing to spend time creating nourishing food for myself.
  8. I don’t need more money to be happy. This was a powerful insight, as money (or lack of) is a big source of anxiety for me.

Not reading or writing was perhaps the most challenging part and left me with inadequate words to describe the weekend.

Maybe it goes beyond words. Maybe it never needed them anyway.

Wa-LA!

A day in the retreat life (in pictures). Cuz nobody said I couldn’t take pictures.

Posted Signage

The Altar

Seat Warmer

Assume the position

Re-entry

Re-entry is tough.

I often have a hard time with coming back from retreat to the circumstances of mail, making the bed, litter boxes, the expectations of other people. When my retreat time has come to an end in the past I have felt any combo of sad, anxious, conflicted, and tight. Alas, this time is no different.

*

As much as I was concerned about…  well, everything at this retreat (the food, the people, having a roommate, getting enough alone time, having to share…), by the end I just adored these sweet, quirky characters who have such immense, tangled stories. Sometimes it was enough to make my heart crack.

And Havi created this fun, spacious, intentionally awkward container where we could really let the Monsters go. She gave so much permission around doing, not doing, not feeling bad about doing or not doing, letting other people do or not do… it was brilliant. She is amazing at what she does, even though I haven’t quite figured out what that is.

The pull of old patterns is strong today.

In some ways I want to write and talk and tell about everything that happened; in other ways I want to curl up in the corner and cry, pretending like it never happened.

Maybe my biggest fear is that after a couple of days, maybe a week, I’ll be exactly the same. All this work, all this time, all this sharing… and I’ll be stuck in the same. old. rut.

**

This here is resistance—part pattern, part stuck, part monster.

***

But nowwwwww I have a Negotiator. Maps. A metaphor (yes, even fairies get sad sometimes). And a little pink monster to talk to. Truly, nothing is the same. Just remembering that I have those tools means nothing will ever be the same again.

Holding on tightly to letting go

I’m getting exactly what I wanted:

  • February off
  • More admin help
  • Some nourishing time just for me
  • Some help/support as I look into my dark corners
  • Sooooo…

    1. There was a knot in my stomach last night in class when I announced that I wouldn’t be back until March.

    What if they don’t miss me? What if they really miss me and decide to leave?

    2. Alicia helped me disconnect during the Haramara retreat and all went swimmingly. So when she offered to permanently route the info@itsallyoga.com email to her rather than my computer, of course I said YES!

    And yet…. when it came down to disabling the account, my palms were sweaty. I waited three days.

    Well, maybe I’ll just keep it for a while and make sure she doesn’t need my help.

    3 & 4. Nourishing time and help with my shit came as a two-for-one – a Destuckification Retreat with my friend Havi at the Asilomar in Monterey. Next week. Right before my Month Off.

    More subs, less of a “send off” from teaching, more time away from the studio, guilt about going.

    I already get a Whole Month Off. Why should I get to go to this too?

    Leaving again. Asking Ron to do everything at the house; asking my colleagues to do everything at the studio.

    Sigh. This is some of the “stuck” stuff that I hope to work on next week. It’s scary to even say I’m going to work it. Or look at. Or think about it. Double sigh.

    Letting go… just a little.


    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 78 other followers

    Topics

    Tweets