Retreat „Where kidness meets compassion”
in Kazimierz Dolny, Poland
1st – 6th of August 2017
„Do not give up so quickly from loneliness. Let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you as few human or even divine ingridients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight, has made my eyes so soft,
My voice so tender
My need of God” (14th C Persian Poem, Hafiz)
This retreat provides an opportunity for participants to deepen their practice and is open to anyone who has completed one of the Mindfulness Association trainings as well as to people who have trained in mindfulness and compassion in other contexts.
The main theme of the retreat will be to deepen our understanding of kindness and compassion which underpins our Mindfulness Training. We will pay particular focus on developing our kindness attitude, an essential support to our practice. From memories of kindness we deliberately provoke an ‘inner atmosphere’ of warmth and connectedness, this ‘atmosphere’ becomes incorporated into our daily practice. We may begin to notice our individual internal patterns those that block our ability towards self kindness, times when we find we are being hard and critical towards ourselves.
The biggest block for many of us can be self-kindness, stemming from a ‘Trance of Unworthiness’ In the Author, Tara Brach’s (True Refuge) words. We feel we do not deserve kindness, we are not worthy, it may feel very uncomfortable. The key is to be with the discomfort, allow it to be there, bring kindness to this part of us that feels the discomfort.
The link between Kindness and Compassion is a deepening experience. Stepping into Compassion training we begin to fully open our hearts to ourselves and others. This deepening process helps us realise that we are all human, beings in the messiness of life. With relief we may see that we do not need to be perfect or ‘squeaky clean’ – in fact, we have ‘full permission to be a Neurotic Mess’, (in the words of professor Rob Nairn (founder of the M.A.)
During this retreat we will have the opportunity to discuss and look clearly and honestly at our particular obstacles and blocks, and how to begin to befriend these difficult experiences. While consolidating our mindfulness practices with a strong focus both on practice and mindful sharing, referring to the essential practice of settling, grounding, resting and support which constantly contain the essence of compassion and wisdom which we revisit time and time again.
From the depths of our experience, the difficulties and pain in our lives, our neurotic mind states, moods, and emotional experiences, all give rise to Self Compassion, arising from the ‘mud’ of our experience that transforms into life-giving fertilizer. We learn compassion is not an idealised version of climbing to the ‘lofty peaks’, but rather Self acceptance, a deep opening of the heart, initially to our own suffering, and then, naturally, this starts to unfold into a flowering of openness towards others.
We need to feel ready and willing to take up the challenge, gathering courage and strength to become a ‘warrior of compassion’ and enter deeply into our neurotic Mind States and emotions. Then the question is; How to be open, allow our vulnerability, our wounds and hurts, our shame, holding all this unconditionally in our tender hearts?
There will be a daily practice schedule with periods of silence each day from rising until after lunch and mindful walks in nature. We will offer teachings and guided practices with sharing and inquiry. There will also be the opportunity for personal practice reviews with the tutors.
Various relevant practices will be deepened by movement, observation, and experiential sessions. Giving time to mindfully appreciate and experience the external environment in nature.
Anna Zubrzycki and Angie Ball
The retreat will be held in Lipowa Dolina , Kazimierz Dolny. All details are available on the website: www.lipowadolina.pl
Accommodation in 3-4 bed rooms, meals and retreat – 1 600 PLN
Accommodation in 2 bed rooms, meals and retreat – 1 700 PLN
The minimum amount of participants is need in order for the retreat to take place.
Payment details may be found in the registration form: LINK
The retreat is international. Teachings will be in Emglish, translated into Polish.