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I am writing this to inform readers about further possibilities. This piece includes an aspect of Process Buddhism. Yet again, I need to mention that I have no expertise to discuss Process Buddhism. It is an incredibly rich and complex subject which takes years to comprehend. I am just attempting to share what tiny bit of knowledge I might possess on it.
Almost four years ago, I went to Virginia Beach to attend a few days of a retreat. At the time, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The retreat had elements of Buddhist meditation practice, playing with somatic exercises for well-being, learning a little Cranio Sacral therapy and being in good company. It was incredible to meditate on the beach, to the celestial sound of the sun rising over the crashing waves, and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was among spiritual family.
Long story short, group members from this retreat decided to start a group in Charlottesville. I was a member of this heart-filled gathering. This was quite an eclectic / dynamic assortment of people, so I will attempt to describe parts of it, although a complete description is beyond words. It was a group that incorporated threads from each group member and it did not have a permanent leader designated (kind of egalitarian). It was an emotional support group which incorporated meditation, somatic exercises, movement, breath work, toning, art work, Indigenous American practices, Continuum pieces, Tibetan Buddhist practice, process-oriented bodywork yoga and more. It was very diverse and enriching.
Here is an example of our schedule: One evening we played with a Continuum piece – being and mimicking inner and outer elemental archetypes, moving and sounding and breathing fire / water / wind /earth plus we would have check-ins to see where each group member was at. The next meeting we did several Zapchen exercises – definitely Process Buddhism in action. Sometimes we had more traditional meetings where we discussed logistics or if something came up for someone we would work on that.
Revising this post, about a year after writing it, I am saddened to say this group has since dissolved its mandala. However, I was blessed to be a part of it for three years. And it was called the Gyu Ship Ship Tsogpa which roughly translates to “A Tantric Continuum Group.” May all sentient beings (and myself) discover a support group where they can hold others and be held in good company.