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Retreat Dharma Talks

Stillness Moving: The Play of Opposites

Buddhist teachings invite us to look closely, courageously and kindly into life, opening our hearts and our minds. Many of us, to make sense of the complexity and often contradictory nature of our experience, have a tendency to polarise. Our minds become caught in one perspective, perceiving life in terms of a dividing “either-or”. This way of perceiving can be helpful and skilful at times but is also limiting if taken unexamined as “the way things really are.”

On this retreat we meditatively and playfully investigate our notions and assumptions of so-called opposites and the role of perception in creating our worlds. We explore stillness and movement, sound and silence, inner and outer, to discover the freedom that can come from balance and clear seeing in a perpetually changing world.

2022-04-04 (6 days) Gaia House

2022-04-05 Dharma Talk 46:59
Kirsten Kratz
The Fabrication of Dualities
2022-04-06 Instructions & Guided Meditation: Softening Contraction - Bridging the Gap 54:58
Kirsten Kratz
Paying attention we will recognise how irritation, fear, anger etc lead to contraction that will feed and strengthen the perception of polarities and "either-or". Can we see this is happening, without judgement? Can we open and soften to this with kindness, curiosity, humour and a spacious attitude, thus diminishing the creation of dualities?
2022-04-06 Instructions & Guided Meditation 53:01
Jaya Rudgard
Softening the mind's tendency to polarise: the cultivation of friendliness and good will as an antidote to reactivity.
2022-04-06 Dharma Talk: The Experience of "Selfing" - Finding a Middle Way. 45:35
Jaya Rudgard
How can we navigate through the extremes we encounter in experiencing and perceiving "ourself"? Can we let all parts belong, none of it ‘me’ or ‘not me’ ?
2022-04-07 Instructions & Lightly Guided Meditation 51:03
Jaya Rudgard
Feeling tone (vedana), reactivity and spaciousness.
2022-04-07 Guided Meditation: No Preference 43:24
Kirsten Kratz
A guided meditation inviting us to be wth our experience without aversion or clinging, staying open to whatever is arsing in our awareness. Acknowledging that at times we identify and then soldify and even calcify around a position or way of seeing, we explore if it is possible to engage and take a clear ethical stance, without falling into the trap of extreme polarisation. Attending to experience in this way can potentially soften, calm, and mute our habitual reactions.
2022-04-07 Dharma Talk : "From Either-Or" to "Neither-Nor" 49:16
Kirsten Kratz
The teachings on the Middle Way, in their different expression, all point to a dynamic, responsive balance that aims to avoid skewing to any side of a perceived polarity. They do not imply a "being stuck in the middle", nor do they promise that we can eventually find a place to land, settle and discover freedom in taking a side in any duality. The teachings on the Middle Way keep us on our feet, questioning, opening, refining. They reveal and offer the liberating perception of "Neither-Nor".
2022-04-08 Instructions & Guided Meditation : Rooted in 'Middleness' 57:01
Kirsten Kratz
As we quieten the noise of aversion and grasping, some stillness and calm can arise in the spacious welcoming of our experience. We can start to feel a freeing of the heart from our often limiting agendas and sense that heart-mind can stay open, connected and engaged, even when we struggle or are not in control.
2022-04-09 Dharma Talk : Passivity and Activity 30:09
Jaya Rudgard
What are we doing on retreat, and why? Reflections on how times of retreat are relevant to the whole of our life.
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