I recently had occasion to look back into the video from one of the sessions of the very first Healing and Awakening retreat in 2013. I was amazed by what I heard -- so much of this is still fresh and true. The reflections I'm sharing is mostly about healing, more specifically about healing and Love, but I also get to how awakening comes into the picture towards the end of the talk, which is about 20 mins, the rest is Q&A. It's rather slow-paced -- it was part of a meditation session -- but still worth watching if the topic calls you. In the video, I refer to research about the healing power of Love, which I published on a separate website: www.heartoflovehealing.ca. Enjoy! Blessings to you, grace
Depression as a wake-up call
As of late, the theme of depression has come up often: in speaking with people who were interested in the Healing and Awakening online group, in working with people in spiritual mentoring and counseling, as well as in questions people ask during non-dual spiritual events and satsangs. The more 'inner' and spiritually aware and sensitive people are, the more, it seems, they are also likely to be dealing with depression. This includes myself, as there has been depression in my life's unfolding. The depression lifted increasingly as I was willing to inquire into it, instead of being afraid of it when I felt well or suffering through bouts of it when it showed up again. One of my break-through moments of inquiry is captured in the poem below.
As I see it now, from both a psychological and spiritual perspective, the emptiness and lifelessness of depression call us to discover true emptiness, which is also what is truly alive in all of us. Most psychological and therapeutic perspectives will look at ways of filling the emptiness and finding aliveness at the level of the personality, or suggest anti-depressants. For spiritual people, this will invariably not feel quite right, not quite to the point. And you are right! Depression ultimately calls you to find your own light, the truth of yourSelf: that which animates even the depression. It is a wake-up call in the truest sense of the word.
All the videos are now up
So many beautiful, deep, insightful moments during the Healing and Awakening retreat last December! If you have found out about this retreat after it was over, or you would like to revisit some of the sessions, you can do so by going to the 2016 Retreat Program and Videos page under the Retreats tab, or simply CLICK HERE. In case the videos are slow to load on that page, I have also created a Healing and Awakening Retreat YouTube playlist. Enjoy!
... and if you'd like to find out about future online events, you can sign up to the Living from Love online newsletter on this page.
The theme of Healing and Awakening brings together two waves of consciousness unfolding: the Eastern and now also Western wave of non-dual spiritual teachings, and the Western wave of healing the pain of humanity through the development of ever new forms of therapy and healing. While traditional non-dual teachings stress the need to transcend the limited self that feels a need for healing, it is remarkable that many Western non-dual teachers are or have also been therapists and healers. When we look at the essence of healing, it is an intrinsic part of healing the psyche that awareness evolves by transcending its limitation by unquestioned conditioning and beliefs. So in healing there is a movement of consciousness out of limitation into the freedom of Being, of living life truly in the moment. In fact, in new forms of therapy inspired and informed by non-dual understanding, true Self, true Being, can be discovered, just as it can be discovered through non-dual spiritual teachings.
This retreat is an opportunity to come together from all over the world as a virtual sangha (community), to explore this fertile ground of Healing and Awakening in our own lives. It is also an opportunity to hear non-dual spiritual teachers, many of whom are or have also been therapists and healers, reflect on this topic and share their insights. And most of all, it is an opportunity to participate in satsang, a gathering for and in Truth. As we sit and inquire with teachers whose sharing arises from Truth, a potent field of awareness arises that has the power to transform and help us shift out of the limited perspective of the separate self. The unique expression of Truth, by each of the teachers, adds richness, variety, and depth to the inquiry throughout the weekend, like a bouquet of flowers compared to the unique beauty of a single one.
The wonder and gift of the internet is that it allows us to gather in satsang no matter where we are on this planet. It also gives you the opportunity to participate live by asking questions and interacting with the teachers. The typical format of the sessions will be a first part where I am in conversation with the teachers about the specific topic for the session, and a second part where you are invited in with your questions and comments (either by YouTube comment thread, or by coming onto the Google hangout directly).
I look forward to sharing this retreat with you! You can register for it right here:
The best way to find out about other online offerings is to subscribe to the mailing list on this website or on the Living from Love website (www.living-from-love.com).
I no longer put a lot of news up on this website except for the occasional news item on the home page, but if you sign up to the mailing list you will find out about all future live, online retreats and conversations.
Thank you for your interest!
It's been a while ... the winter has been extremely cold up here in the North of Montreal. This slows everything down, including the imagination, it seems!
But about two weeks ago, inspiration hit, and I had the idea of organizing a new retreat with the theme of 'Living from Love'. You'll find out everything about it on the website: www.living-from-love.com.
Go check it out, and I hope you will join us in this new adventure!
With much love
New page: sharing the love
People wrote such touching notes of appreciation and gratitude during and after the retreat that I decided to put up a new page with their comments.
Check it out, it's the comments page!
And I'd like to use this opportunity to express my appreciation and gratitude to all of you, speakers and participants, who have made this retreat possible. It was such an incredible experience, and it wouldn't have happened at all without you!
Thank you, from my heart,
Almost four weeks have passed already since the retreat. I needed some time to rest and let the experience settle. And then I found that the Healing and Awakening theme continued to be very alive for me. So I started revising the website and creating 'digest versions' of the meditation and sharing sessions. The idea is for the retreat to be more permanently available on the website.
So here is what you will find on the program page now:
Living the retreat experience:
If you haven't been able to take time for the whole of the weekend, or you have friends who may be interested, you can still do so now. The program page gives you a time schedule that you can follow as you create your own retreat at home! It won't be the same as the live retreat, but who knows, it may be just right for a weekend or a day. You can even invite friends to share the retreat with you!
I have some ideas about how to continue the Healing and Awakening offering, and I will be in touch about these some time soon. Here's what's on my mind:
Last but not least: thank you...
... for your generosity in donating!
39 of you made a donation, anywhere between $2 and $100. The overall amount (after Paypal fee deductions) reached the sum of $1,115. This covers all actual expenses and leaves a very modest amount that goes towards the work that went into organizing the retreat as well as the website, video and mp3 work that I've been doing since.
If you haven't made a donation yet and feel moved to do so now, please go to the donate page. All contributions are appreciated.
With much love and gratitude,
PS: ... and I'd like to thank Wendy Ayotte for all her help 'behind the scene' during the retreat! I expressed my thanks during the retreat, but I wanted to do it 'officially', too.
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