Today we pack up and head out to the New Year’s Retreat. This year we’ll have 120 people, our largest group yet. I suspect we’ll have both sides of the coin. A large group builds a lot of energy as we practice for five days in silence together. We’ll also probably be treated to an unprecedented symphony of sniffs, coughs and sneezes.
I’m looking forward to the week, which will be paradoxically quite busy for me. I’ll be leading mindful movement sessions twice a day, facilitating group interviews, private interviews, leading some sits and giving a talk on “Impermanence and The Body.”
Enjoy your week. Happy holidays!
For those of you local to DC and Arlington in particular, you might enjoy checking out this new undergrad course at George Mason’s Center for Consciousness and Transformation.
The course is called Consciousness, Meaning and Life Purpose.
A number of folks have alerted me to the Charter for Compassion, which a very cool international focus on celebrating acts of kindness. I’m just getting into it, but it has some wonderful elements you might find inspiring.
(Thanks, Christa and Sylvia.)
Just as the sun peeps over the horizon, the light bounces off the water and hits the Paw Paw trees. Details and colors from the decaying leaves jump out. Here are a few ‘leaf portraits.’
The equipment has a lot to do with the detail and color saturation. For the geeks, these are shot with a Canon T1i with a 70-200mm 1:2.8L series lens and a 1.4x teleplus pro extender, the latter a new addition with thanks and gratitude to Kevin McDonough, my photography benefactor and dharma buddy.
Best narrative short from the Cleveland International Film Festival.
I’ve just started Rick Hanson’s book, Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom.
The book is about effective, research driven ways to light up the circuits in your brain that will bring you more joy, fulfilling relationships and inner peace.
I did the Community Dharma Leadership training at Spirit Rock with Rick and am impressed with his training as well as his sincere desire to get the word out on the fantastic research demonstrating how meditation impacts so many aspects of our lives.
As Rick writes in the book, “If you can change your brain, you can change your life.”
I’m just back from the IMCW week-long retreat at Seven Oaks. Seven days of silent practice. I’m a bit bleary, but inspired. I was up at 5:45 to lead morning yoga and each day I was fully engaged. Mornings were filled with back to back interviews and I did a dharma talk, led a metta meditation and afternoon yoga. I’d fall into bed each night pretty spent.
I’ll have links to the talks and possibly a number of my movement classes available in the near future.
We had 67 yogis for the weekend and 43 who stayed on for the whole week. It takes a special kind of maniac to sit for a week of silent practice. I have to say this was an inspiring collection of maniacs.
We had over 30 people turned away for this retreat so if you’re interested in the five-day New Year’s Retreat coming up at the end of December, you might want to register now. We’ll have a repeat gathering of the teachers: Tara Brach, Pat Coffey, Hugh Byrne and myself.