Monday, April 11, 2011

Wonderful Retreat

   No, it wasn't a quilting retreat, but I do hope some day that I will get to attend one of those!

   This was a weekend workshop that I attended at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health located in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts.  It is a wonderful, inspiring place in a beautiful setting.

 About a month ago, an aquaintance recommended this book:

   I have read many self-improvement and self-help books in my [45] years, but this one really resonated with me.  I was able to access my deepest, darkest inner wounds that have been buried for years and was too afraid to face.  Avoiding the real issues was causing me to suffer, and in turn, it was affecting my husband and children, too.  The book and workshop helped me embrace and accept the difficult, painful emotions that I've been running away from for so long.

"Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions.  Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance."  (p207)

"The unfaced and unfelt parts of our psyche are the source of all neurosis and suffering" 
      -- Carl Jung (p. 57)

"We can't honestly accept an experience unless we see clearly what we are accepting. ...[C]ompassion is our capacity to relate in a tender and sympathetic way to what we perceive.  Instead of resisting our feelings of fear or grief, we embrace our pain with the kindness of a mother holding her child."  (p. 28)

"... the Buddha nature that is our essence remains intact, no matter how lost we may be.  The very nature of our awareness is to know what is happening.  The very nature of our heart is to care.  Like a boundless sea, we have the capacity to embrace the waves of life as they move through us.  Even when the sea is stirred up by the winds of self-doubt, we can find our way home.  We can discover, in the midst of the waves, our spacious and wakeful awareness."  (p. 30)

a beautiful Elm tree
"... times of great suffering can become times of profound spiritual insight and opening."  (p. 37)

"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change"  
     -- Carl Rogers (p. 38)

There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness
out of which comes the unshatterable.

There is a sorrow
beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space
too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness
we are sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart 
as we break open to the place inside
which is unbreakable and whole, 
while learning to sing. 

-- Rashani, 1991

If you are interested in learning more about this book and its author (Tara Brach), you can visit her website here. 


Diane D'Angelo said...

Thanks for a lovely post. "Radical Acceptance" changed my life -- healing and empowerment beyond measure. Glad you know it, too! Namaste.

Iowa Sunshine said...

i found your blog through tara's page -- so glad you attended her retreat. i did a few years ago and it still stays with me. i'm glad you are finding healing with quilting ... a beautiful way to move through the feelings of PPD. take good care of yourself. thanks for sharing about your retreat experience.

Regina said...

Love the pictures. I was wondering what it looked like there. Did you enjoy the retreat?

KimQuiltz said...

I am putting her book on my wish list, thank you for the recommendation!

It's funny (serendipitous? coincidental? God's hand?) that I have been meditating on Radical Hospitality and then read of Rabbi Heschel's Radical Amazement and now Tara Brach's Radical Acceptance ... I do believe there is a theme going on here. :)

Kris said...

Oh, Eliza!! I have wanted to go to Kripalu since I was in my early twenties, some 40 years ago!! I am so glad you had the chance to go there for me!! :-)) And the book sounds wonderful!!! Hope you are doing well!! Kris

kim turret said...

Dear Elisa,
I want to share your experience! I intend to purchase this book and to read it from cover to cover. From the quotations it seems very intellectual, and the type of book with which you need to keep notes in the margins. I am so happy for your new-found energy and enlightenment. I also love your blog...GREAT things are happening for sure!!! Love ya, Kim