One Day Forgiveness and Compassion Retreat July 2017

Letting Go and Moving on

A one day Retreat at The Seeker’s Trust in Kent

_Robert_meditation-retreat_3_680x423

Click here to book

Agenda

Morning

Start at 11am
Forgiveness
Michelle The Butterfly Effect
Robert The Gaia Process
Lunch About 1pm
Mindful Walk In the Seeker’s Trust Grounds (weather permitting)

Afternoon

Compassion
Michelle The Phoenix Effect
Robert The kevlar vest for the 21st century
Afternoon Tea
Self-Compassion
Robert and Michelle Selfless Selfishness

The Day Retreat

The day is an opportunity for healing and growth

Michelle and Robert will guide and support you on a day of self-enquiry where you will learn to gently and cautiously discover, identify and question the beliefs, thoughts and fears that are the root cause of all of our suffering. It’s a way to understand what’s hurting you, to explore the the cause and source of your suffering with clarity and focus.

The process consists of acknowledging, accepting, releasing and moving on to a place of greater calmness and happiness.

The day retreat at the beginning of August was wonderfully uplifting and my mind was almost still for 3 days after!
(The inner chatter of my mind subsided markably)”

Click here to book

 

Michelle
Michelle has lived in or around London all of her life and knows first hand how stressful it can be. She has had careers in fashion, advertising and the media as well as running a shop, an interiors company and also has two kids – It’s exhausting just thinking about it.Michelle has experience of how our modern day life brings very high expectations, costs, time restraints and stress.

Michelle teaches meditation, relaxation and offers holistic healing to women and families in Hither Green. Her focus is on sharing practices, exercises, ideas and research that can assist YOU in increasing your own ‘zest for life’.

Robert
Robert set up Bromley Mindfulness in 2013. Since then he has developed the intensive Mindfulness-based Resilience course from which nearly three hundred students of mindfulness have graduated since 2014.

Each week Robert teaches numerous students at a number of venues in Bromley and at a variety of organisations from local charities to global household names.

Mindfulness-Based Resilience offers a different way of being, a way of experiencing life from the perspective of the present moment rather than from the past, the future or an oppressive life-situation. Using the tools of Mindfulness-Based Resilience, we can learn to leave our pain out of our present moment and find the new perspective that really does lead to happiness.

Activities
The day will be a combination of activities and meditations designed to help retreatants to release the burden of memories and fears and doubts that we all carry courtesy of our complex artificial and unnatural lives.

Location
The Meditation Day Retreat will be held at The Seekers Trust near West Malling in Kent.

The full address is:
The Conference Centre, The Close, Addington Park, West Malling, Kent, ME19 5BL.


Day Retreat – Pricing and Payment

Cost for the Day
Day session including a light lunch and refreshments – £75


Day Retreat – Date and Times

Date and Times
Date: Sunday the 16th July.
Please arrive before 11am.
Lunch: 1pm
Finish at 4:30pm

Book your place now to avoid disappointment
Click here to book

One Day Meditation Retreat May 2017

Meditation session at the Connection Retreat in March

 

Click here to book

 

Learn to meditate or learn to deepen your meditation practice.

By attending our meditation retreat, you will learn the skills that will help you to build a sustainable and helpful meditation practice. Our meditation training will help you to build your repertoire of meditations. You will learn how and why they work, which meditations will give you what you need. This will help you to bring mindfulness, calmness, relaxation and peace of mind to your day.

The focus of the retreat is meditation. Robert, Mike and Graham will take you on a journey from the basic practices of mindfulness meditation, through intermediate techniques that exercise our perception, activities like mindful walking and Qi and through to advanced meditation in a variety of styles while also including his personally devised meditations such as The Presence Meditation, The Candle and the Breath meditation that was recently featured on Ruby Wax’s site and the De-Stress Meditation.

There will also be an emailed handout of the practices so that you can review what you have learned.

Join us for our first One Day Meditation Retreat on Sunday 21st May, 11.00am – 4.30pm at The Seeker’s Trust, West Malling.

This day long session will see you benefiting from feeling more relaxed and less stressed and anxious, happier and empowered. You will also leave with tools and techniques you can practice and benefit from in your own time.

This intensive training session for the mind will leave you feeling refreshed, happier and more balanced.

The day retreat at the beginning of August was wonderfully uplifting and my mind was almost still for 3 days after!
(The inner chatter of my mind subsided markably)”

What new meditation skills will you leave with?
By attending this meditation retreat, you will benefit from five hours worth of carefully selected mood boosting, mindfulness relaxation and gratitude meditations with practical guidance.

Qigong
Graham Warren is a long-time and regular student at Bromley Mindfulness.
Graham has practiced Qigong for decades and has taught Qigong on a number of retreats run by Bromley Mindfulness which have proved very popular. Graham teaches Qigong in West Wickham every Wednesday at 7:30pm.
The venue is West Wickham New Church Hall, 142 High Street, West Wickham, BR4 0LZ.
There is a car park across the road in a rather hidden slip road by Carpet Right and there are many buses and trains to the area.
You can contact Graham on:
07711 733058
gwarren851@gmail.com

Meditative Walking
The day also incorporates ‘walking as a meditation’ within the The Seeker’s Trust’s  39 acres of grounds and gardens, a light lunch (menu available on request) and a range of non-alcoholic hot and cold drinks throughout the day.

To learn mindfulness in our lives, we need to transfer the experience from our meditation practices to our day-to-day experiences such as eating and walking. Mindful walking is a wonderful introduction to this. We can both do a mindful walk in the grounds and also visit the Seeker’s Trust’s famous healing tree.

Click here to book
 
Location
The Meditation Day Retreat will be held at The Seekers Trust near West Malling in Kent.

The full address is:
The Conference Centre, The Close, Addington Park, West Malling, Kent, ME19 5BL.


Mindfulness Day Retreat – Pricing and Payment

Cost for the Day
Day session including a light lunch and refreshments – £75


Mindfulness Day Retreat – Date and Times

Date and Times
Date: Sunday the 21st May.
Please arrive before 11am.
Lunch: 1pm
Finish at 4:30pm

Book your place now to avoid disappointment
Click here to book

Four days back from my solo retreat

I thought I would give it a while before I added a new post to see what the effects of the retreat were a few days after returning.

I have felt, and continue to feel really calm. My mind is still and I am very lucid. My thoughts have really subsided and I find that I am able to bring mindfulness into some moments that I previously have found difficult.

I have effectively taken another step on my personal journey with the realisation that I need to practice humility. I have the content that I created while away to work on and I am looking forward to fleshing out the presentation and putting the framework in place for the course.

It is probably worth posting where I am at some point later on this month to see what the residual effects are then.

Namaste

Solo retreat 5th day

Today the mind is very quiet. I find myself bringing myself easily and smoothly into the present moment and lingering here rather blissfully.

I also took a bit of a back seat today on my work. I had to go into town in to pick up some supplies as I had underestimated what I needed. Next time I’ll fix a menu in advance and buy the ingredients.
One of the things I did today was to write down a list of achievements from this week.
I found that being totally alone like this is really brilliant for getting the contents of your brain down onto paper.
I was able to extract all of the details for a number of categories in such a way that I was able to formulate and plan based on the information.
I also did a lot of reading and made copious notes.
I think the most productive area was in intellectually demanding yet creative tasks such as planning a course and constructing a massive presentation.
I also struggled with the residue of urban life for consumer-producers which invariably consists of resentments and anxieties of some sort.

It seems to me, no matter how much time I spend uncovering and working with past resentments and so-on that there are always more. Speaking to other people who are experienced meditators, I’m not alone. It seems that the brain has infinite storage capacity for anything that it can possibly interpret as a threat.

Don’t think that I am particularly neurotic. I know beyond doubt that this sort of emotional burden (karma) is a characteristic of our entire consumer society. The difference with me is that after years of mindfulness and meditation I am both aware of it and can also, thankfully, release it.

My goal is to entirely divest myself of my negative karma one experience at a time. Whether I have enough time left on this planet to achieve this or not is the pivotal question :).

All I can say for sure though is that I am not adding to it!

I’ve started reading a book by Ram Dass called ‘Be Here Now’. One of the reviews on Amazon warned me that the book starts as a bit of a hippy bible encouraging us all to leave the workplace for the poppy fields and at this stage it certainly seems that way but I shall stick with it as some of Ram Dass’ teachings I have found are absolutely spot on.

Regarding what I blogged about yesterday, which is the fact that many mindfulness teachers don’t seem to confront the issue of emotions, there is an excellent quotation by Ram Dass which says “To him who has had the experience no explanation is necessary, to him who has not, none is possible.”

Discussing the journey of the mind with the uninitiated is literally, like speaking a different language. This is where the language of spirituality comes in and where we end up struggling. Science has no concept of things like connection with nature, the joy of life, transcendence and bliss so there aren’t the words. Hence, we all end up sounding like hippies whether we want to or not! :) My daughter says that much of what I say she simply puts in her ‘Dad’s hippy box’ category.

I suspect, that there are some mindfulness teachers that have had this experience and yet keep it to themselves for fear that it will blow their credibility with their academic or healthcare buddies.

Imagine coming into the University or the hospital in the morning to say “I spent several hours bathing in the bliss  resulting from releasing ancient fears.” Probably wouldn’t contribute to their next promotion eh?

So this is the last day and I shall be back in the urban jungle soonish.

I shall report back on how that works out.

Namaste Brother and Sisters! :)

Solo retreat 4th day

And so yesterday, the fourth day, I got down to the nitty-gritty of my retreat.

Most mindfulness teachers seem to either see mindfulness as a ‘spiritual practice’ on the path to Nirvana or as a ‘therapy’ they can add to their portfolio.

I am somewhat different, I came to mindfulness through stress. When I picked up the Power of Now in a bookshop in 2009, I was searching for something to help me deal with my stress.

Two revelations in that book transformed my weak Zen Buddhist meditation practices into a powerful tool that has helped me to transform my mind, and my life. This retreat is evidence that transformation is an ongoing process.

The revelations were simply that I am not my thoughts or my emotions and that the present moment is all there is. This helped me to become aware of my emotions, possibly for the first time, and most definitely for the first time as an observer.

This ability to observe emotions rather than experience them is a key element of mindfulness.

An analogy that I often use is that the mind is like a river. When the current is strong and the river level is high, it stirs up the bottom, becomes murky, creates waves and froth. The bottom of the river is hidden and so crossing it is dangerous.

Mindfulness clears the mind and creates a calm, still silence which enables us to observe and experience our thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness can become a safe space, one that, with practice, we can always find. This is the eventual goal of mindfulness meditation, to experience the mind safely, transform our minds and so, transform our lives, though not everybody either can or would want to experience this. One has to ‘be ready’. Nobody quite knows what ‘ready’ actually is, but you’ll know it when you’re there.

In the consumer society, meditating on emotions, thoughts and beliefs consists of becoming aware of our conditioning, questioning it and releasing the limiting beliefs, habits and emotions which unfortunately, is most of it.

From what I have seen, most mindfulness courses and mindfulness teachers don’t actually acknowledge this process. I think that this is largely because they haven’t been there themselves.

It’s not possible to speak about, for instance, the connection with nature, the joy of life and the bliss of releasing deep inner fears unless you have experienced it yourself.

Today, to repeat a commonly used expression, “all sorts of stuff came up”.

Of course, it is all good, but it really was a day spent with various tricky emotions such as resentment and grief.

Over the years I have used a number of techniques for managing this sort of psychological quagmire, but nowadays I just dive in and allow myself to feel it. I can almost invariably identify the cause and so either I allow myself to be aware of it and let it dissolve, or find a practice to resolve it.

My latest personal lesson is humility. And the practice I needed to find was how to practice it!

Here are the Dalai Lama’s teachings on humility:
http://www.dalailama.com/teachings/training-the-mind/verse-2
Recently, I have developed a great deal of respect for the Dalai Lama. I’m not a Buddhist simply because I don’t believe in reincarnation, but I will seek out wisdom wherever it can be found, and for the record, that’s often in the most unlikely places…

For some reason, probably because I simply didn’t understand, I used to think the Dalai Lama’s teachings were a western ‘media friendly’ version of Buddhism, but recently I’ve discovered the power in them. I had thought for instance, that compassion was an outcome, a side effect almost, of having found inner peace. Recently, I discovered compassion is something I need to actively practice. In the same way, I now know that I need to practice humility. I need to review my interactions and decide on who I should be compassionate or humble with, and then go out of my way to do it. 

I think if I can be compassionate to people that are resentful and humble with people that are arrogant, then I will have have found my way and rising to the bait will be a thing of the past.

To practice humility, I have now realised that I need to be mindful of how I have responded in the past and be prepared to defer to people not just when they’re wrong, but ‘especially’ when they are wrong, because after all, what is right and wrong except an idea we think is true that we hold in our heads? So why not just allow them to continue to believe whatever it is they want to believe?