Body of Awakening: Body, Movement, Meditation (2017)
A synthesis of meditation, movement, energy work, sensitivity exercises and the arts. Focussing our awareness in our physical experience. Opening fully to sensations of the matter, energies, movements and resistances of the bodymind. Embracing the ordinary/extraordinary experience of the delights and difficulties of being human. Revealing the body as teacher, guide and doorway to awakening.
The body is our most available, accessible, reliable aid to awakening. It’s always there, just like the breath that keeps it alive. It’s always offering us revealing sensations that tell us how we are whenever we choose to notice it. The body has its own innate awareness, and all we have to do is relax and let go of our resistances and tensions in order to contact that awareness and really know how it is to be fully human. The body always tells the truth. Just as the Vajra cuts straight through to the truth of reality, so working with the body cuts through to the truth of being human by short circuiting our thinking mind and habitual defences.
In a way the body is a koan: how can it be that by grounding ourselves fully in the physical body – its flesh and bones and all their sensations - we come to know the groundlessness of our being so fully? But that’s how it is. And that’s lucky, because when we experience the insubstantial, imperfect and impermanent nature of our being, we need to be grounded in the comfort and solidity of our earthy bodies that connect us to earth we live on. In just the same way, direct experience of the other elemental qualities of our body helps us to know those same qualities of mind, and helps us be more at ease with those elemental energies of life.
On a more mundane (but no less important!) level, this retreat is also a vibrant exploration and appreciation of our human body in movement and stillness, designed to enhance wellbeing of the whole body-mind and increase ease and delight. There will be: Energy breathwork exercises to enliven, stimulate sensation and enhance the dance of energy in every cell of the body; slow or energetic Movement and stretches to open and loosen, ease out stiffness of body and mind, help us let go of holding patterns and give us a felt sense of change; Relaxation and grounding techniques to help us be more fully 'here & now' and connect with the solid, kind support of the earth; Fun with an eclectic selection of music and various playful activities; Stillness with meditations and silence to know our experience fully and integrate it.
A previous retreat was described by a participant as “‘The Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ in reverse!” Even if we haven’t been taken over by aliens, it’s possible to spend much of our lives in a fairly alienated state. This often means not being fully in touch with the body and living mainly ‘in our heads’. That tendency is what this retreat addresses very directly and works to reverse. If we’re fully in touch with the body, experiencing all the changing sensations, feelings & emotions of being fully alive and human, we cannot be alienated.
This certainly is not a traditional meditation retreat. It might be more helpful to think of it as a week-long workshop, because it’s a full programme with a variety of activities. There will be some sitting meditation, but there will also be a lot of meditation-related exercises: energetic breathwork mainly done lying down, slow and energetic movement, walking, looking, touching, writing, and various playful activities. To balance this there is plenty of silence to increase spaciousness (usually about 3 full days).
Our bodies are great Dharma teachers. All we need to do is turn towards them, open our minds to the awareness they offer us, and let them lead us to depth, delight and awakening.
It is possible to do this retreat if you have some physical or energetic problems, but please check suitability with Dhammagita (via Taraloka) before booking.
Dhammagita focuses on the development of awareness through the body. She has been teaching and leading retreats for 16 years. Her background: shiatsu practitioner and other bodywork trainings, art, drama, training in the USA with Reginald Ray. Her inspiration: her body, Buzz Lightyear, life, the universe and everything.
Led by Dhammagita with Hridayagita
Level: Triratna Regulars
Cost: £75 booking fee plus suggested donations (taken at the end of the retreat) £195 (unwaged/in receipt of benefits) or £315 (waged)
For more information on cost and the 'dana' system click here: http://www.taraloka.org.uk/calendar-bookings/cost
|Retreat date||Friday, 1st September 2017 17:00|
|Retreat End Date||Friday, 8th September 2017 11:00|
|Booking closes on||Wednesday, 30th August 2017|
|Booking fee (per person)||£75.00|
|Retreat Leader||Dhammagita with Hridayagita|
|Location||Taraloka Retreat Centre|