Retreat into the New Year

It’s such a deep privilege to serve our meditation retreats and the New Year’s Retreat always has a particular potency.

For the participants it’s a time of stepping away from the intensity of modern life to immerse into silence, sitting and walking meditation, mindful movement and contemplation.  The instructions are pretty simple:  relax and pay attention.

This year, instead of individual interviews during the week, we had group interviews of about eight participants.  For a about an hour twice during the retreat each participant gathers with a teacher and a small group to name what’s challenging, what’s unusual and what’s opening up inside.

These sessions are also a time of ‘deep listening,’ to not just to share your experience but to be informed by others naming the landscape of what’s arising.

Despite the social silence, this was a deeply shared experience.  We were in this together.

Sunset after a movement session.

Retreats are incredibly busy time for us who serve them.  Each day I led three mindful movement sessions, facilitated a group interview and met with individuals.  I also gave an evening talk on the Five Hindrances, which I’ll have up on my podcast soon.

Despite have a day that starts with a 5:30 wake up bell and ending at 9:30 after the final meditation, the sincerity of each participant kept my inspiration and energy level flying.

Tara working on her evening talk.

If you ever have the chance to step away from your busy life for a meditation retreat, please consider working it into your year ahead.  For me,  retreats are one of the best investments I can make.

I like to think of them as a time when ‘we are alone together.’

Check out IMCW’s site for the schedule for 2012 and beyond.

Hugh Byrne, Pat Coffey, Tara Brach, Mary Aubry, Jonathan Foust and Ruth King


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