‘Letting go and moving’ on is a residential mindfulness and meditation retreat, held in Aylesford in the beautiful Kent countryside on Friday 7th to Sunday 9th September 2018.
It can sometimes feel that our life choices disappear. Life becomes like a roller-coaster ride hurtling towards an uncertain future and all we can do is either hang on or try to enjoy the ride. Our choices become hidden by the hectic pace of life and the decisions we make become damage-limitation exercises and there is no sense of progress. The constantly accelerating pace of change leaves us off-balance and our inner wisdom becomes obscured.
We all know the wisdom that emerges from a still, calm and silent mind. It is crystal clear in its clarity and rooted in deep insights into our lives that aren’t available during our daily grind.
This retreat is designed to provide us with the space we need to reconnect with our inner wisdom. On Saturday, we will uncover and clear the obstacles to your personal journey. We will clear our minds, relax, your inner wisdom can then arise and guide you to the best possible outcome.
The Focus of our approach is to learn and use the mindfulness and meditation tools that we practice as part of our structured training courses, classes, workshops and retreats. All meditators, at some point, encounter the layers of emotion that expose our past experiences, beliefs and future expectations. In this retreat, we will use the meditation tools that are best suited to helping us to work with this important part of our experience. We will learn how we can use Acceptance, Emotional Release, Gratitude Practices and Impermanence Practices to process our inner experience and peel back each layer of resistance that is so unhelpful to our happiness.
Arrival from 1 pm, drop off your bags and meet up with the group or enjoy the buildings and the grounds
Sunset meditation – outside, or inside, if it rains
Saturday – Letting Go
Finding your Inner Stillness
We will begin the day with mindfulness meditations designed to bring us to a place of still, silent calmness and tranquillity.
Mapping the Landscape of the Mind
We need a map because we need to get from where we are, to where we need to be. Trial and error wastes time and can create difficulty. Others have already gone those ways, so you don’t need to follow them to the same dead ends and diversions. We want to be familiar and comfortable with the landscape of our minds to navigate it safely and helpfully.
From here, we can identify the obstacles. We can learn what is intervening in our happiness and develop a strategy to overcome it. We will learn the mindfulness meditations that allow us to see inwardly so our inner experience becomes clear.
Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable
Appreciation, forgiveness, compassion, self-compassion, gratitude, acceptance and impermanence. These are the tools that we use to learn how to sit with and release the inevitable discomfort of living our artificial lives. We will learn and practice meditations that allow us to guide our inner experience of those things that bring us the most suffering so we can accept and manage our pain and discomfort when it arises.
Releasing uncomfortable emotions
To get past our current obstacles, whatever they are, we need to learn what they are there to teach us. We also need to learn how to process our emotions both for this session and also any future experiences. Emotional release is a collection of techniques that allow us to let go of our suffering as and when it arises. Some of these techniques are meditations and others are inner work. We will go through them in a structured way so you can add them to your toolkit.
Rebalancing our minds and bodies
Having done our work, we need to put away our tools and get back to an open, relaxed and balanced state at the end of the day. Again, the focus is on returning to the calm, silent stillness that can be found within us through mindfulness meditation.
Sunday – Moving On
The morning will have a number of activities designed to help us to process the learnings from the day before including mindful listening.
The afternoon will have activities designed to help us find clarity.
Mindful walk (weather permitting) in the 40 acres of grounds (options for high and low energy folks).
A Qi Gong session led by Graham
A silent tea
Meditation practices designed to help us discover our inner wisdom and also to then transition back into our busy lives.
You can step out of your daily grind and into a beautiful training space to experience a serene and inspiring escape from your busy life.
The Friars at Aylesford is a 13th century Pilgrim’s hostel. Pilgrims still stay here, as they have over the centuries, to rest on their journeys to Canterbury and beyond.
Set in the heart of Kent, The Friars – Aylesford Priory – is an ancient religious house of the Order of Carmelites dating back to the 13th Century. Over the centuries and now today The Friars has become for thousands of visitors: a place of peace, a centre of welcome, a venue for gathering and a work of art.
The images below include the 13th century Pilgrim’s Hall where we will eat our meals, some photos of the buildings and grounds, the spartan but immaculately clean accommodation and various other photos.
Friday 7th September – Arrival
|Arrival and meet the other retreatants|
|Sunset Meditation||inside or out (depending on the weather)|
Saturday 8th September – Letting Go
|Finding your Inner Stillness||How our modern perspective fails us|
|Mapping the Landscape of the Mind||What is it and how do we find it?|
|Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable||The key tools for modern life|
|Emotional Release||Releasing uncomfortable emotions|
|Rebalancing our minds and bodies||Finding balance after our inner journey|
Sunday 9th September – Moving On
|Moving On||Clearing the mind|
|Mindful Listening||group activity|
|Qi Gong||with Graham Warren|
|Mindful Walk||within the 40 acres of grounds|