by Katherine Willow, ND

Friday evening through Sunday early afternoon
January 29th – 31st, 2010
(Ed. note:
Call 613-839-1179 or email to register.)

It is well acknowledged that meditation is one of the better things we can do for ourselves on all levels.  It helps our body be healthy, our emotions be more even (eventually), our mind be more clear and our soul be more accessible to our life.

But when I suggest meditation to patients and friends, there is often a resistance.  “Yes I know I should, but my mind is much too active”. Or, “I don’t have time to sit still and do nothing”. Or, “I’m too tired”.

All of these  responses indicate a basic misunderstanding of what meditation is, how it can be cultivated easily in one’s life, how much pleasure it can bring and how much more efficient we are when we know how to do it!

I have a vivid memory of reciting similar protestations to my yoga master, counting off all the things I was already doing in my life.  His answer was that if I was doing all those things, then I couldn’t afford NOT to meditate!!  And he has been wonderfully right.

Which brings me to our meditation retreat at the end of this cold and dark month, a perfect time for going inside — except that most of us don’t WANT to.  So we’re going to make it fun and easy while keeping to the essentials.  And then we’ll give you resources for going further.

There will only be two actual formal meditation classes, both with “sits” of under 20 minutes.  Beginners will have no trouble at the retreat, trust me.  The rest of the classes will focus on how to create a balanced life that promotes not only wellness, but an increased ability to sit still — and meditate, with all the benefits that bestows, which we will be reminding you of in glowing terms.

And if you think this retreat is just for beginners, think again.  Even experienced meditators will gain new information about how to balance their specific body type (after identifying it!) with food, movement, sex, sleep, work and in relationship so that the mind is already calmer and meditation becomes even better.  In additition, we will GENTLY explore some of the emotional blocks to meditation and how to dissolve them with kindness.

Or maybe your practice has lapsed and you’re having trouble kickstarting it.  Come and get re-inspired and feel great while you’re at it.  Because our retreats are famous for making you feel better than you’ve felt in ages.

If you definitely can’t come to this retreat, know that there’s another one around the corner in May, which will be focussed on spring cleansing your body.

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we have a guest co-facilitator for this retreat in the person of Father Jack Lau, spiritual director of Galilee Mission in Arnprior.  He is a Roman Catholic priest who also teaches yoga and he will be bringing a Christian perspective on meditation.  I’ve been getting ready to teach with him and all I can tell you is: be prepared for a treat!  He has an authentic spirituality that just bubbles out and he is the one of the most non-judgemental people I have ever met.

That’s probably enough said on the subject, you will “know” instinctively if the time is right for you to retreat.  Have a restorative January no matter what you decide to do.