This is a continuation of my notes from last weekend’s Virtual Comfort Retreat somewhat disjointed, etc., but you can, I hope, get the idea.
Trillium (Devin Kieber Grady photo)
Ways to keep retreat mind with you:
*containment: schedule, deadline, shrine
1. Make offerings – such as flower or pic., candle, incense – on your shrine – but the best is to offer your experience
2.Request Blessings – requires opening your mind – reflect on whatever you hold sacred
3.Dedicate the Merit – connect with whatever was roused for you during this retreat session and offer it to all beings.If you don’t do this, it’s like not clicking the SAVE button.
3 Kinds of FEAR:
1. Fear of yourself – I’m not good enough & shame
Antidote: Gentleness to yourself to allow what you feel to be as it is without trying to change it
Pema Chodron: Feel the Feeling but Drop the Story
Cultivate gentleness through sitting meditation
Whenever you feel afraid, write down 3X on a piece of paper: “I am afraid of _____” Inhale/Exhale Repeat Breathe Repeat Breathe
2.FEAR of People – When you know how to come back to balance
Antidote: Delight – curiosity – even if you don’t like them
Cultivated through Lovingkindness
3. FEAR of Life
Antidote: Confidence – authenticity – Being who you really are moment to moment – and being able to show that to the world
May I live without fear May I live in happiness, May I live in Health, May I live in ease of wellbeing and abundance
Say first for YOU…then a loved one…then a stranger (or someone you are ambivalent towards)…then an enemy…then all beings
Flash Lovingkindness: “May you be happy” when sitting on a bus towards each single person on bus
Always start with yourself
3 KINDS of Laziness: 1. Regular, 2. Becoming disheartened, 3. Being Too Busy
Best way to fight inertia is to figure out “If I were to accomplish my goal, what would be the next step I would take” One practical step at a time.
Agave (Mark Knight photo)
Dr. Judith Orloff –
Emotional freedom = Increasing your ability to love more by relinquishing the hold of negative emotions
This is her own technique developed from her work as psychiatrist and intuitive and as explained in her book Emotional Freedom
Relaxation Response * see Herbert Benson’s book (my note)
How we can use any experience to develop more calm. How do we not get sucked under?
Are you an Emotional Empath? an emotional sponge – they take others’ emo.right into their body and they think that others’ emo. are their own
Honor yourself and set smart boundaries.
You must allow quiet breaks during the day
Safeguard your sensitivities e.g. if someone asks too much – you have to say NO
Know your maximum for socializing
STRATEGIES for How to Be Brave
1. Choose a light one and work with it and you can work on the bigger ones later -realize what are the triggers – frame your fear from a spiritual perspective…How can it help me develop courage and become freer
Deactivate the Fear: Breathe, Center, and Repeat mantra: I am not just this fear; I am larger…Expand beyond the particular fear to move into something larger.
Don’t become mesmerized by it. Don’t give Fear any juice, but also don’t deny that you have them.
Take 3 min. meditations during the day: Breathe and visualize a letting go of the past, such as me in the water, riding a wave…
Lotus (Portland OR) - Devin Kieber Grady photo
Michael Bungay Stanier
This is a process you can use anytime for anything in life. It is impossible for you to do everything you want to do as a result of this retreat.
1. Start thinking about what choices you are going to make.
2.Make a decision – what are you going to say YES to and what are you going to say NO to – for NOW…Articulate these. One of the most powerful coaching questions: Doesn’t have to be the right choice – just Make the best choice you can now. It’s a practice!
-Ask What’s the real challenge here…write
-Create a range of options – possibilities for how to do these
-What ideas do you already have …write 4 things
-Set a defined limit…write
Brilliant coaching question: But what else might be the possibility?
-Generate one or two additional ideas for each question
- thinking about your challenge – what is the easiest thing you can do?
-What is the fastest thing you can do?
-What is the most courageous – outrageously brave - thing you can do
DO IT FOR TWO HOURS EVERY DAY
-What would be the fun thing to do
-So don’t stop here…What will you do??? By when will you complete this??s What accountability are you going to set up? Who are you going to tell?
-Accept the FEAR & anxiety that goes with it! And Don’t CATASTROPHIZE it – spend some time asking what is the worst that could happen?
-Set up structures of support and encouragement
-Get connected with your life purpose – that can drag you through anything to get there
Nate jumping off 5 foot rock (Mark Knight photo)
Your Innate Well Being
Parts of Well Being:1) Somatic state – delicious feeling in body 2) Understanding – when you recognize what you need to achieve #1 A metta well-being
These two states feed off each other. The value of #1 is in the healing it allows
When you are in that place in you – you are smarter- you can hear your inner voice – your intuition…”I’ll be happy when…I can take more care of myslef or I have the right partner or I buy enough stuff”
-The understanding part- Where do you go to get your good feelings (#!) tells you pretty much everything about your life.
-Even healthy ways such as yoga & meditation – you are going outside and when you don’t have them, there is FEAR. You need to develop well being from the inside.
-Belief that someone else controls our feelings..But Good Feeling is INSIDE you…IT IS YOU!
You are a toaster trying to be a microwave. Release the inner toaster…You are a perfect toaster…a lousy microwave.
-There is nothing outside you that can take away your well being!
-We live stressful lives when we think our well-being can come and go…But emotional states are simply responses to THOUGHTS not to actual world.
HE can get rid of phobias in 20 mins.
In a relationship there are 4 people: your hubbie and the picture of your hubby in your head
You don’t need positive thoughts – you need to recognize that thoughts arejust thoughts. the problem isn’t that you had a negative thought- it’s that you gave it your phone # – at 4 AM when you’re alone in a dark room
-So you just need to recognize the negative thought and have patience – it’ll go away and your well being remains intact
-How you’re feeling- tells how you are thinking
-A sure sign that you are in a low mood is a sense of urgency
-When you are feeling calm – good- then you know that your thinking is clear and you can proceed to make decisions
-When you see that all of that suffering you are putting yourself through is from YOU….
-When people make transformations – it’s because they DECIDED to stop hitting themselves in the head!
-If you really want to get “present” put yourself in a dangerous situation. Put yourself in a situation that is new to you
Kinder way: Decide that being present is more important than all of that activity
EXERCISE:Do each thing as if it was the most important thing for you to do.
*QUESTION asked about manic depression:
1. acknowledge it!
2.when you start to see that even though you have a chem. imbalance you see that cycle is still based on thought
His FEEL HAPPY is a book based on this.
*2nd question about helping others:
1. Check your own state (e.g. we are trying to fix them so that we can feel better) so get yourself in a good place before trying to help them
2. See them as capable of changing their situation. We need to believe in them and their innate wellbeing, health, happiness, and wisdom
2. Get what it is to love somebody else unconditionally..stay in your good feelings for someone even if they don’t behave the way we want them to. So begin to love the person unconditionally.
3.Easy listening: just listening with no intention to fix or make happy etc. So you begin to create space by just listening. Leave the bowl of murky water to settle! It works so well because the nature of the human is WELL.
Once you realize that the allowing the thoughts to spin out is not serving you and once you begin to realize that a slower mind serves you well…you will deal with life easier!
Still not finished…will get to all of Jen Louden’s remarks tomorrow… see ya’ then.