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This was a shorter day as I am trying to practice good self care before school resumes in January. If I have to take an 8 am class, I will be waking up early for 14 weeks straight… so that makes a 5 am retreat wake up call less enticing! Anyhow, today I was at retreat from 9 am until 8 pm, still a good chunk of time! With that said, someone or something still tended to wake me around 5 anyway… but then I’d roll over and fall back asleep! But I must say that being connected with a potent retreat, happening less than two miles away, makes for an increasingly active dream scape! Cool!
Today was good. More stabilized. I wonder when I say something is incredibly positive – I had a tendency in the past of waxing a little manic, so I’m on to that pattern now. Yes, more stable, good good! Nevertheless, today had some powerful moments. 10 – 12 was the Ganges Mahamudra and that was potent again. One thing I wonder about is this: if it is true that one MUST have an authentic Guru who has realized Mahamudra themselves in order to have it pointed out, then I hope everyone who is coming to this retreat has an authentic teacher! Because if not, they might be generating some positive merit… but they will never realize Mahamudra on their own. [As an aside, without an authentic teacher, even if someone has a vision or a glimpse of something powerful or a blissful state of consciousness, without a Guru, they can never be sure what they saw or experienced…]
Hopping down off my soap box now… 🙂 My favorite part of this day was doing the Zapchen section. Khandroma Julie Henderson, whose name you will find scattered throughout this blog, is a phenomenal teacher. I am saddened that she is getting older and therefore taking on less students these days, but at least she has taught many incredible student / teachers of her own! During this retreat we have slowly been deepening the practice during the Zapchen session, so as this day was day 6 of the overall retreat, there was some potent material to be sure!
In Julie’s retreats out in California and when she teaches in Nepal (so I have heard), she goes pretty deep. And considering all of her students have been doing Zapchen for a while, it is quite appropriate and well contained! So on this day in retreat we did the Zapchen equivalent of Guru Yoga practice and Wow! I wonder if it is at least as powerful as the Drikung Kagyu Ngondro version of Guru Yoga… Seriously. Getting the body prepped through somatic exercises, opening channels and moving energy and then dissolving your heart in the heart of the Guru is pretty special. Mmmmmm Yummy!
Then during the Metta Loving Kindness section of the day, I found a powerful way to incorporate some pre- and perinatal psychology work – I basically did Metta toward myself as a fetus in utero. Very juicy stuff! I definitely needed a nap after this afternoon section!
Then… as if it could get any better!! I did a dream during the 6 – 7 dream dance (drama dream therapy) section. Anywho… so this involved me telling my dream and then setting up the other participants to play roles within the dream. I got to explore being a jagged rocky ledge, then a long chasm and even still played around with filling the chasm part with vines and lush bushes. It was fantastic. We played with themes of approaching a slippery slope, taking a leap of faith, allowing the world to catch you when you fall. It was awesome.
Yet again I’m glad I went. Some days I have a ton of resistance to going. It is so rejuvenating and potent, how can I keep away? And yet I find a way. All I can do is show up right here and right now. 🙂
I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year! Tashi Delek and thank you for reading!
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