“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”-as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering-the situation is hopeless.” ~ Byron Katie
Someone asked me what retreat was like again doing The Work.
Oh my. How can I describe such a wonderful experience? Each and every retreat is like a precious gem.
A unique group, personal and important inquiry, and the brilliance of humans finding their own answers.
In a nutshell, retreats are several days set aside to do nothing but meet your own thoughts with understanding. The word “retreat” actually means to fall back, to settle down, to pause, to stop fighting, right?
So fitting, because I find it’s what we’re opening up to about reality itself. Not Fighting It.
An adventure in being completely honest about What Is, and then exploring our Truths about it.
No one else’s truth or answers, only our own.
Sure, there are other people here, sitting in the room with you.
We’re not so focused on getting to know one another, or sharing whole stories from start to finish, or exposing all our pain or doing special exercises (except for some that help us identify our thinking).
Retreats set aside for doing The Work feel to me like making very deep contact with my own inner world, without running for dear life, or deflecting away, or avoiding what frightens or angers or saddens me.
I suppose in some ways the opposite of “retreat” is also true. I’m connecting very closely. Rather than retreating, I’m diving all the way in to understand something I’ve opposed.
I’m giving myself time to be with my mind, and question something I’ve perceived as a cause of suffering.
What I find happens is time dedicated to questioning my thinking allow the hours, then days, to go to work on it and transform it without me even trying. Something sinks in, and a power of love and support unfolds without any teacher or guru or special method necessary (as Van Morrison sings). I follow the directions and step-by-step fall into wondering who I am without my thinking?
Wouldn’t I be a zombie without my stressful belief? Maybe I’d have no idea what was going on?
Maybe I have no idea already.
Two retreats are coming up soon. One is only 8 days away: spring retreat in Seattle! May 15-19. The other is at Breitenbush in Oregon June 12-16. Seattle’s retreat is $485. Breitenbush Retreat is $495.
Oh, and there’s always music, beautiful poetry and quotes, and one special outing involving movement without talking. A great experience of being, and letting our work be.
For both retreats, we begin Weds evening and you’ll start right away by identifying a situation from any time in your entire life where you believe whatever was going on shouldn’t have happened.
You needed something. Something was missing. Something was threatened. You lost something. It hurt. Something was said, written, implied, damaged, gone. Someone was rude, vicious, violent, suffering, absent.
So many moments. It shouldn’t have happened that way (says the mind).
Oh such a profound treat, in the weirdest way possible, to state what I did not like and why, and tear that moment to shreds, or complain, or cry on paper (whatever the sentiment).
There’s something that gets released.
Yesterday on the weekly Monday facebook live, for example, we did The Work on the belief “I need x, in order to be happy”.
I need money, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a baby, a house, a job, support, friends….air.
I need it. Without it, I can’t be happy.
Is it true?
Watch the inquiry here.
And I’m LOVING interviewing the wonderful people I’ve met in The Work, who have been on many retreats, sat with themselves in self-inquiry, gone to The School for The Work, and experience their lives as completely changed because of questioning their thinking on what should not have happened.
My guest this time is Tamami Fujiwara, Certified Facilitator.
One of the things I loved most about her sharing was that when she first encountered The Work, she hated it.
Listen to our conversation here on itunes Peace Talk episode 147.
If this work intrigues you, if you’re looking for some spring mental cleaning, if you’re confused, upset, worried about anything….come to retreat. CEUs for mental health therapists for both. Seattle has two spots left. Breitenbush almost sold out.
Learn more about Seattle spring retreat here.
Learn more about Breitenbush retreat here.