A review of Maitri Retreats and my meditation ‘sesshin’ with Hamid Ebadi, a most extraordinary man
Photos from our ‘sesshin’ here on Hamid’s Facebook page.
Maitri Retreats’ Facebook page.
Hiyati Yoga on Instagram by Miri.
…something happened to me over the summer. I feel less defensive, more at peace. I would say I have developed more resilience. A layer of old grief has been stripped off. I know where to find peace in myself. That is my ‘coming home’.
“Meditation is a bodily practice.” I will never ever forget these words from Hamid as we prepared to start our meditation practice in Monchique, Portugal in a region called the Algarve. I had never been to Portugal and there I excitedly found myself with nine other practitioners (ahem…students…most of us hugely interested dabblers who had not yet developed a consistent practice). Also with us was Miri, our yoga teacher who was the other leader of this retreat, also a participant. That made twelve of us in total, with Hamid. I sat in a rectangular formation with my fellow learners and listened carefully.
Here was the man I had spoken to via Skype prior to deciding to come. He had first intrigued me with a long and very obviously well thought out and personalized letter answering my questions about this retreat. Continue reading Maitri Retreats and Hamid Ebadi — An extraordinary journey of ‘coming home’
Tonight, I will meditate and pray for all of the people on this planet suffering. A dear friend of mine reminded me many years ago after I returned from trekking in Nepal, shocked by the extreme poverty I witnessed…small children begging just for a pen, shoeless in the hills…”suffering is relative”. I thought then: surely not! But twenty years have taught me that suffering is relative and the feeling is one and of the same.
If we are cut, we all bleed. Continue reading Suffering
My spiritual mentor, Dr. Sue Rubin
My spiritual mentor, the wonderful and effervescent Sue Rubin – Dr. Sue Rubin – of Truth Tidbits (her website and a nod to the most remarkable stories of people she meets at Starbucks and the lessons to be taken from these encounters, now shared on Facebook) has just turned 89. She is a beautiful soul, still going strong. As I look at her in this recent video, the thought “ageless, timeless” comes to mind.
Our Sue (as they say in the UK, where ‘home’ is when I am not in Saudi or Canada) is as she always was: curious, vibrant, wise, a master storyteller, respectful of all faiths, compassionate, uplifting, glamorous, dignified, down to earth, self-disciplined (to an unbelievable degree), generous with her time and so much more. People flock to her for good reason. Continue reading My Spiritual Mentor: Dr. Sue Rubin
When I taught five classes of drama per day in Canada, I found my body and voice tired and in need of a break between sessions. A great deal of energy that goes into the facilitation of ‘structured play’, as it is called. So, I quickly found a solution.
I told my students at the start of each class, “This is the only class you will ever get to lie down on the floor (carpeted, of course) and close your eyes.” They loved it, dropped their bags and ran to lie down and get comfortable. Win-win situation. They never knew that it was their introduction to guided meditation. It settled them and gave us all that ‘pause’ for re-focusing on the moment, the class to come.
I played my students one of my favourite songs about peace, written by one of Canada’s legendary artists, Loreena McKennitt. The key to life, I believe, lies in the koan of the chorus. It is a good for waking in the morning, resting in the day and sleeping at night. Enjoy.
“In your heart, in your soul, did you find peace there?”