Sunday, November 17th:
Gathering together, naming our intent for this nine days of meditation, yoga and contemplation. Vulnerability, curiosity, unknowns … all present. These next days are an invitation to ‘be’, to allow what arises, gently allowing focus within oneself while including the outer circumstances. This is highlighted here in Nepal right now with the government elections and the uncertainty of what may arise the next days as a consequence – a reminder to us that we exist in a world of uncertainty.
What can be possible when we allow and include, giving space for all that might be? No right way, no wrong way? Gently, breathe, allow, whatever arises …
Ah yes, full moon – the wholeness that from tomorrow wans and then waxes once again, every month reminding us.
Suggestion: if you feel to join our meditation & yoga from wherever you are living/staying right now, consider writing each day your insights, dreams and impressions for this next nine days for yourself.
Monday, November 18th:
Arriving into paradise… mountains and stillness, inviting one to quietly sit. As we immerse into meditation monkey minds can become present, yet who can watch this monkey busyness? Always present, conscious or unconscious is our naturally quiet stillness. Practicing to remember that wholeness is here all the time.
Tuesday, November 19th: Resistances and shadows can arise as we give space for whatever arises. See if you can gently allow and include these issues that arise. Perhaps it is time to see them clearly? Perhaps in giving these shadows space to be seen you may find the beauty and wholeness through inclusion.
Suggestion: experiment with loving kindness meditation – visualize in your mind someone who you love dearly, without reservation. (if you cannot identify a person perhaps a beloved animal?) Hold the image of this person and allow the feeling of love and caring to seep into every part of your body. Then gently turn this loving energy to yourself, allowing it to filter into all parts of you, your psyche, and your body. Then let it spread past your body to include your surroundings, and further out to your local environment and further out to include all. Allowing and feeling the waves of this loving kindness within and without.
Wednesday, November 20th
Simplicity, easily overlooked in the pursuing of extraordinary and profound. Take some time and watch the dawning of the sun. First the mere hint of light softening the shadows, followed by a sliver of pinkish glow emerging from the east, gently spreading in a pallet of soft colours across the horizon, unfolding naturally over an hour or more. The sun itself is more dramatic and impressive; perhaps 2-3 minutes in total for the orange ball to emerge fully into sight, while this simple background lighting of the entire sky and surrounds is indeed profoundly illuminating.
Suggestion: Where in your own life may you be overlooking your own simplicity, a natural quietness unfolding in the background? Experiment with placing attention and awareness to your own simplicity, discovering more of what it really is and how it benefits you in your daily life.
Thursday, November 21st
Naming our inner (&outer!) demons, those issues/themes that seem to inhibit us can be supportive in taming these demons. Gentleness, gratitude and giving oneself space and time to see clearly, to explore what ‘is’ – all contribute to clarity, opening and wider experience.
Suggestion: spend some time contemplating what you can be grateful for in your life; consider the possibility of being grateful for those issues that are troublesome too! Allow what arises as you contemplate, not trying to rationalize, rather giving space for what you may not know.
Friday, November 22nd
Allowing ourselves to feel touched, to experience our heart feelings, can be a healing and opening experience – for us and for others. How might it be if we allow our heart to be visible, to be undefended? It can be an open doorway for our inner wisdom to emerge and our compassion to express itself.
Suggestion: spend some time contemplating allowing your heart to be visible – to yourself and to others. Notice the protection demons that may stand guard and hide your heart, experiment giving them time off and experiencing your visible heart undefended.
Saturday, November 23rd
When we can experience our inner stillness, our natural wisdom and clarity can emerge. This wisdom can guide our daily life and support us in opening into our potential beyond our conditioned behavior and beliefs. For most of us, it requires a practice of accessing this inner stillness, and, with practice the access can become as natural and ordinary as breathing.
Suggestion: find yourself a delightful meditation cushion, a lightful space and choose to make a regular practice of meditation. Perhaps be playful and think of it as if you are sitting down to enjoy a nice chocolate bar, savor the time to be with yourself sitting quietly. It can help to begin with short periods or practice so that you can truly look forward to enjoyment, rather than it be a chore to endure. Once you truly get a taste for stillness, the practice becomes easier and easier.
Sunday, November 24th
Frequently the view and perspective that we see of life and ourselves is limited by our conditioning and beliefs. Yet who we are is much more than we can imagine. Within each of us wholeness naturally exists, a potential that is simply present. We can access this natural potential when we allow ourselves to open into ‘not knowing’, experiencing our vulnerability as a doorway into the vast unknown of who and what we are. Often we fear the unknown, assuming it will be uncomfortable or unpleasant – yet often the unknown leads us to a wider and more fulfilling experience of yourself and life.
Suggestion: Take some time to contemplate ‘what you do not know’, what is outside of your usual references of yourself and life. Relax into this unknown as if you are venturing into a wonderful fun playground. Be open to it being easier and more nourishing that your fears tell you!
Monday, November 25th
Compassion-in-action can be a powerful transformative form of meditation. When we listen within our own heart and respond to our inner calling to be in service enabling others to experience a more whole and happy life, what we receive in return can be life transforming. One can deeply realize the natural cycle of receiving in giving – yin/yang. When we give of ourselves in heartful compassion-in-action we can begin to realize that we truly are all one family, no matter our circumstance, colour, gender or past.
Suggestion: spend some time with someone who is dedicating himself or herself in service, or, choose to contribute from your heart to another person or situation. Contemplate and allow yourself to be touched in your own heart, to allow the possibility of connected and open heartedness in a new and perhaps unknown way.
Tuesday, November 26th
Meditation in everyday life naturally includes the busyness, noise and clutter that we often engage and distract ourselves with. Yet within all the variety of input in daily life there is within each of us a natural place of quiet stillness. The art of meditation is to allow this alive busyness to ‘be’ and to stay in touch with this natural simple stillness, as if it is the rudder guiding our path through life.
Suggestion: as you go about your day imagine that you have this natural stillness within you, guiding and supporting your daily actions and choices. Stillness in action. Gently remind yourself throughout the day that this stillness does naturally exist within you.
Here in Nepal, as we complete our 9 days of meditation retreat, we go about our day after morning yoga and meditation into the busyness of Kathmandu city, a contrast from the quiet peaceful atmosphere of the mountains! A good reminder of busy everyday life ;-)