Compassionate Acceptance: A Mindful Path to Healing Life’s Wounds
July 27–30, 2017
We all carry with us a store of life’s hurts, betrayals, and traumas. Much of the impact of these experiences resides deeply in our nerves and cells of our bodies, to be re-lived repeatedly throughout our lives. Too often, we develop a type of aversion to these hurts—a kind of wishing they would go away. Deep healing occurs only when we soften our self-aversion and begin to accept and relate wisely with deep compassion to that part of ourselves that needs healing.
This will be a dynamic and refreshing opportunity for you to explore how the practice of mindfulness meditation will deepen your understanding of how your body and mind work together to generate lasting healing and well-being.
This retreat will provide a spacious and safe place to work on bringing mindful and compassionate acceptance to these difficulties. Through contemplative, Taoist, and Buddhist teachings and healing practices you will explore a kind of emotional, spiritual, and physical healing based on acceptance and compassion that is often overlooked. This depth of healing is integral to deepening the spiritual path.
You will leave this retreat with a lasting foundation to help you tap into the healing wisdom of your body.
Thomas Roberts on Meditation for Beginners
Blog Post: Simplifying Meditation: Why Practice? To Wake Up!
By Thomas Roberts
These days you hear a great deal about meditation. This kind of meditation, that kind of meditation; all sorts of books describing what it is and what it can do for you. Often meditation is associated with a particular religion or spiritual practice. Let’s clear something up right at the start.
Meditation is not a religion. Meditative/contemplative practices have been part of numerous spiritual practices throughout history. No one owns it.
Meditation is not Prozac. It does not cure or solve anything.
Meditation does not make you a better parent, a better doctor, a better student, help you be less depressed or anxious.
In fact meditation does no-thing at all!
Like everything else that gets exploited, meditation is now neatly packaged for your consumptive desires.
Everybody is touting and selling meditation. Step right up and get yours.
Okay let’s restore some sanity here.
A meditation practice doesn’t help you overcome anything. It just helps you face your life with greater patience, openness and compassion.
If you do meditation for some outcome you’re not doing mindfulness. I’m not sure what you’re doing and it may be beneficial but it is not meditation.
You see, the real practice of meditation has no outcome. You don’t do meditation to get anywhere or achieve anything. If you do, you run the risk of becoming attached to that particular outcome and that interferes with your meditation practice.
So why practice mindfulness?
All the great teachers (Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Toltec, Muslim, Native Peoples) have taught one thing:
The only reason to practice mindfulness is this:
to wake up!!!!
To wake up!
A regular meditation practice simply peels back the layers of self-deception to see things clearly as they truly are. The more you wake up, the more you are able to live your life from an open compassionate heart, and a balanced calm mind; from a deep place of innate wisdom. The benefits of awakening move in all directions throughout all your experiences.
Meditation is the awakening of our entire experience, not just our minds; the awakening of our entire body-mind and its sensory experience. This awakening reduces our fear-based reactions and cultivates our natural ability respond to others and ourselves with great patience, openness and compassion. Our senses become alive with wonder and curiosity for past conditionings and limiting attachments.
So let’s stop all this nonsense of trying to practice meditation for any particular outcome.
It comes down to this: Practice this enduring skill for its own sake, and everything else will take care of itself.
The simple yet profound practice of mindful meditation, whether on a cushion or in a chair, or in a grocery line, or talking with another, just keeps you in an open, balanced, and compassionate place that just makes this a better world.
The Path of Simply Being retreat will be a wonderful experience in developing a meaningful and beneficial meditation practice.
You need not have any prior meditation experience. Or you may wish to attend to deepen or re-kindle your practice.
Hope to see you here at Shambhala!
Thomas Roberts, a Zen Buddhist and psychotherapist, has led dynamic, refreshing, and practical retreats on mind-body healing and meditation practices for over 30 years. This retreat will draw from his book The Mindfulness Book: A Beginner’s Guide to Overcoming Fear and Embracing Compassion.