This is my 4th time doing several-day retreats with Kirsten and Ann and even one 10 day retreat with Sogyal Rinpoche (which was another lifetime experience that was amazing). Each one gave me new insights. Each one brought me to a deeper place of knowing who I am in this work and my rightful place as one who accompanies the dying.
My 3 biggest take-homes from our 2017 retreat were:
1) My natural state of being is much slower in pace than what I do in my ‘normal’ life. I knew this, but I thought I had made big enough improvements in slowing my life down. How in the world can I slow my life down when I have so much to do? I often feel I only have a movement to continue. Yet everything really can wait 'a minute'. I am making the choice to slow it down another couple of notches. Nobody will suffer because of it. In fact, all who touch my life will get more of me once I pace myself. When a person is dying their whole world is slowing down to this life. So this is a wonderful awareness to have
2) We must continue to grow in our ‘ability to hold space.’ This deepening awareness we must continue to be willing to work for. It became more and more evident as the retreat moved on. My pure joy of being there, in love, infused with the silence, the teachings, the spiritual exercises woven into the week expertly by Kirsten and Ann...all of it was a lesson in how to grow in this consciousness so we can be a better witness and companion.
3) Ability to be silent. How powerful it was supporting another in silence. It was one of the most potent experiences of the retreat, one of the most active exercises we did in a way. It’s one of those things that is hard to describe, you just must experience it for yourself.
It’s an understatement to report that the time spent with these wonderful people was well worth it and it was so much more. We have more colleagues for life we can trust, more tools in our spiritual toolkit, new juice for our internal wellspring.
I am eternally grateful.
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