Mind-Body Activities and Spiritual Practices (from our Winter 2020 Retreat)
Previous Connection Retreat - Winter 2020
The beat of a drum is reminiscent of the rhythmical training we experienced in our mother’s uterus. When we hear a drum beat, especially a heartbeat pattern we unconsciously relax and feel safe. The drum circle helps to release stress, reduce anxiety and to reconnect with ourselves and with others. Experience a playful but non-competitive, uplifting, meditative, and healing space where we create various rhythms together. Join the circle and let the joyful vibrations transform you. No experience required. Drums supplied. The drum circle is led by Mary Jean Belrose
This is a time to bring your attention to your experience of the present moment and set aside the mental "buzz" that causes anxiety, stress, and even physical pain. Whether you are a total beginner or an experienced meditator, these simple guided exercises will help you find your natural breathing cycle and deep relaxation in the midst of the constant flow of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. You are not required to sit in complicated poses or to stay for the whole length of the session. We combine elements of Zen Buddhism and modern psychological mindfulness considering all spiritual types and sensibilities in order to accommodate everyone: those who need to relax, those who need to manage stress and anxiety, and those who want to deepen their self-awareness and cultivate their spirituality. Lead by Leandro Palacios.
Yoga is a set of physical, mental, and spiritual practices. Its health benefits include increasing general health and stamina, reducing stress, and improving conditions brought about by sedentary lifestyles and may have positive effects on mental health.
All ages and levels are encouraged to join Saturday morning and Saturday evening yoga sessions with Alex Leikermoser. Alex 's classes are fun, playful, and known to inspire people who never thought they could do yoga to incorporate the practice in their lives by experiencing the benefits of breathing and gentle movement.
Bring your attention to the now and attain closer connection of mind and body with a sequence of 108 fluid gentle moves. Focus on the movement, know what body part is left or right, and let everything else go. This Taoist moving meditation is occupied with spiritual and mental aspects, practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. The name refers to the forces of yin and yang related to the moves. In the 21st century, Tai Chi classes that purely focus on health and longevity have become popular in hospitals, clinics, as well as community and senior centres. You are not required to do all moves, there is not right or wrong way to do Tai Chi. Tai Chi is led by Johan Koeslag.
The Postures of Peace
In each of us there is a place of peace that is as still and calm as the eye of a storm. When you know how to access this place you can stop fighting the storms of life and reclaim your energy for living. There is a particular posture that connects each of us with this place. This workshop provides the opportunity for those who are interested, to be guided into the posture that takes them to this calm. As the curious are helped to find this place, those watching will witness effortless strength and an almost indescribable lightness of being. Witnessing this transformation helps us to understand that it is available to all of us if only we remember to go there when the world swirls and rages around us. The facilitator is Catherine Mitchell.
Labyrinth Discernment Walk
“You enter a labyrinth to find yourself” Walking the Labyrinth is an unfolding journey into self and the experience of Holiness. This is an ancient spiritual ritual across all faith traditions reaching back 4000 years and for many has become a sacred space of pilgrimage. The experience is transformational, a roadmap to discerned new possibilities in your life. Entering the path is an emptying, the centre point is an inspirational present sense of being. Proceeding outward is a time of discernment from the healing and freeing grace of knowing oneself in the presence of the Holy. Through your walk the pathway of understanding, resolve and alignment with purpose, identity and calling emerges in your life. The Labyrinth Walk is led by Kerry Richards.
True Listening Meditation
A small group mindfulness exercise where one person speaks briefly following simple directions, while the others fully listening, focusing the attention on the words, silence, body language, emotional state of the speaker, letting go of thinking about what to say in response. After a short time of quiet reflection, the listeners share thoughts, feelings, or insights without giving counsel or advice. Only honest response as space is held open for moments of joy and sorrow, for Sacred Listening is a time of deep investment in all aspects of life. The act of taking time to truly listen is crucial for building authentic connection. True Listening is moderated by Kerry Richards and Leandro Palacios.
When we engage in conversation in ways that bring out the best in us and inspires everyone to discover themselves and one another, we are called forward into a greater purpose. Enjoy a cup of coffee and be part of a meaningful conversation. Make new friends of all walks of life who share a common desire to make a difference in the world. This is a safe space to share thoughts in an open and accepting environment that encourages dialogue over debate.
Meaningful Conversation is moderated by Kerry Richards and Troy Roach.