Take a minute to reflect on all the emotional energy and effort you put into everything that you do in your life – your work, family, friendships, community, travel, health, etc.
Our lives are very busy and clearly over-scheduled – sometimes we forget how restorative and renewing it can be to take any time away from our daily routine to recharge the batteries and connect deeply with ourselves and others in nature. When was the last time you took a full day for yourself and disconnected from your smartphone, your laptop, your Saturday routine and just recharged?
Why would you want to do that?
Well, I have five great reasons to join us on our day long mini-retreat, Saturday, July 26th – from 9 to 5 at The Center At Westwoods.
1. – Yoga with Betty Riaz – We open and close our day with some gentle and restorative yoga. One of the reasons yoga is so inspiring to me is because the practice is always fluid, changing (as I change) every time I practice. If you’ve been to our weekly Move & Meditate class at Stil Studio, you know that Betty is never short on creative variations and poses to help us go deeper.
The process of connecting our heart, mind, body, and breath really embodies mindfulness. We will tap into some physical openings which can lead to emotional breakthroughs. And, if you haven’t taken Betty’s Spa Yoga class on Fridays, then that is the # 1 reason you should attend… we close out the day with her Spa class. It’s like a “spa day” for your body and mind.
2. – Meditations with Andy, The Boston Buddha – We will sit comfortably and focus on the art of just being, by listening and observing our mind content. When we become still we are able to self observe, self reflect, in that moment, without judgement – this is Pure Awareness. Throughout the day we will explore various types of meditations – Silent Mantra & Sutra Meditation Techniques, Mindfulness Practices, Loving Kindness Meditation, Eating and Walking Meditations, and other sense work. We call it our “practice”, because we will always be practicing to become more awake from moment to moment. We’re learning how to train and integrate the body, heart, and mind – like anything we want to cultivate in our life, this takes practice.
All the meditations are designed to cultivate positive qualities of mind, qualities such as clear sustained attention, compassion, patience, generosity, kindness, willpower, strength perseverance, forgiveness, humor, warmth, and empathy. We believe that happiness comes from the mental habits you continually practice. These are our mental push-ups! We can train the mind to be more like the qualities we admire, so that we can get out of our own way and be happier in our lives.
3. – Fun Activities and Group Work – Enlightenment is a team sport. There will be creative activities and group discussions. These exercises amplify our awareness into the deeper conditioning that creates our unconscious reactions and decisions in our lives. We’ll see that there are scores of subtle ways in which we are communicating with each other, where we’re getting a sense of what’s going on inside the other person. The more sophisticated we become at reading other people, the more connectivity we experience. Being in a space, sharing with others, is sometimes the mirror we need to remember that everything we need to be happy is within us.
4. – Connect with Nature – There’s a reason why meditation retreats and temples have traditionally been built on high mountaintops like the Himalayas or deep in the forests – TO GET AWAY… physically removing ourselves from the distractions in our usual routine. Getting out into nature and breaking away from the typical story-lines of our lives, helps us tap into our own deeper awareness.
The Center At Westwoods is breathtaking. It sits on a significant amount of land that is filled with wonderful art and spiritual surprises throughout the grounds. Native American art pieces intertwine with the natural beauty of the landscape…. ponds, wishing wells, a walking labyrinth that weaves together a Native American medicine wheel, Christian sacred geometry, Australian Aboriginal symbolism, Tibetan Buddhism, healing crystal vibrations, and the powerful beauty of nature. Talk about Meditation For Everyone! (I may finally have my unicorn meditation;) The retreat like setting at The Center At Westwoods offers an incredibly relaxed setting for the explorations of our inner and out-er landscapes.
5. – Expanding your Community – At the end of the day, life is all about relationships. Being immersed in a day long workshop surrounded by others working from their best self, is one of the most important anchors for maintaining and deepening our meditation practice. It’s uplifting to be surrounded by other people exploring and navigating these age old practices.
If this sounds like something that would interest you, we’d love to spend the day with you. If you’re ready to completely unplug and recharge for a day, let us know. It just may be the perfect antidote to the constant noise of busy, over-scheduled, work-driven lives – and the restorative benefits are many.