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Every season, we all need time to step away from our busy routines, slowdown and reconnect to what we value. As we segue as a community out of our Covid routines, this connection to ourselves and what matters is even more important. This retreat is designed to help you reconnect to others with respect, harvest how you grew this past year and align your core values into your “new” life. You can participate in person (socially distanced with masks in a large venue for the day) or online. Our focus for September will be meeting our emotions with skill and understanding.

Retreat focus this September is how to meet our emotions with respect and curiosity. Out of all the meditations I have practiced for the past twenty years, these are the ones I come back to again and again. Each and every day offers unique opportunities – the opportunity to scream, shout, and throw a tantrum about something. Did someone cut you off on the freeway? Did you receive another email from work with a seemingly impossible deadline? Did someone in front of you at the grocery store pay in pennies and spend seemingly hours counting them out? You feel like screaming. Did your boss just inform you that the project you’ve been working on for months is no longer needed? Or a notice of another last minute Zoom meeting? It takes work to live in this world as a human being and not blow up when faced with anger-provoking moments.

Then there are the opportunities to pause and savour the sweetness of life. Contemplate about all of the other emotions you could experience throughout your day. You may watch your child achieving a new skill and see their delight.  You may feel heart-wrenching sadness when you’re reminded of a lost loved one. You might finally meet a moment with acceptance and maturity and be relieved that personal growth does happen.  Your heart may burst with delight when you’re snuggling with your loved ones.

In this retreat, we will explore how mindfulness lets us navigate our emotional terrain with compassion, skill and patience. Instead of emotions being « problems », with attentiveness as our guide, emotional states become messengers calling out what we are yearning to acknowledge, nurture and let go of. Thankfully, a mindfulness meditation practice can help you gain emotional intelligence – day in and day out. By connecting intentionally to our minds and bodies, we can handle emotional states with skill and perseverance.

All participants attending in person must be double vaccinated and wear a mask at all times when inside with others. When seated, masks may be removed.

The retreat’s schedule:

~ Arrive between 8:30 am and 9 am to set up and settle in.
~ 9 am Move into Noble Silence with a centring meditation
~ 9:30 am Practice Vinyasa Krama Yoga class to release tension, align the body and refresh our senses. This class will explore key postures and movement exercises to train our bodies for sitting and walking meditation.
~ 10:30 am Sitting and Walking meditation
~ 11:30 am Opening to Emotions as They Are
~ 12 noon Lunch
~ 1 pm Traditional mindfulness meditation forms and diad exercises to cultivate our attention to difficult emotional states.
~ 3 pm Harvesting Insights – iRest Yoga Nidra
~ 3:20 pm Closing Merit Meditation.

Retreat ends at 3:30 pm with time after to speak with each other.

For the past fifteen years, I have been guiding retreats in an artful blend of yoga, somatic movement and Vipassana meditation. I love and cherish facilitating these retreats. At the core of my courses is that we reconnect to our grounded nature of being. Past participants have described that these sessions helped them reap the benefits of awareness, self understanding and self acceptance to be able to navigate their lives with compassion and skill.

If you would like to join this retreat, write to me at allisonulan@gmail.com. Registration and payment is required in advance. This retreat is limited to 16 participants. The fee is $60 (taxes included). Location is Espace BE Bien-Être at 2240 avenue Beaconsfield between Sherbrooke and DeMaisonneuve.

In Metta, Allison Ulan