Engaging with deep spiritual practice involves transformation of our identity from the limited egoic perspective to a much more varied and vast perspective. As we shift, we relax with feelings, learn new ways of being, and embrace a wider view of who we are. While I offer a unique and specialized service to those who work with me, I recognize the need for my clients to connect with what works for them in their practice, and then I encourage them to do it. I have worked with many teachers, retreat centers, and authors who have helped me in countless ways. Some of the resources that I found benefitial are offered here on this page.
Being On Retreat
On retreat one can focus exclusively on being mindful of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting and thinking. Thinking is considered one of the senses in Buddhist theology. Our senses are being engaged all of the time. How you engage with thinking is part of the work I will do with you. Eventually, it can be helpful to go on a retreat, or set up a home retreat to dedicate more time to spiritual practice. I can help you prepare for a retreat so that you can deepen in awareness with your experience.
A few retreat centers (not in any particular order) I have been to that are helpful:
- Twin Cities Vipassana Collective
- Common Ground Meditation Center – Minneapolis, MN
- Dharma Field Zen Center – Minneapolis, MN
- Spirit Rock Meditation Center
- Insight Retreat Center
- Teacher Adyashanti
The Body & Inquiry
In one’s practice, sources of insight can come from the resources mentioned here. I regularly remind my clients that insight can also come from within through a practice of remembering one’s own body through-out the day. This gentle inquiry can be a transformative process that brings you closer to knowing your True Self.
The touch of our senses and the way in which we think and inquire affect our mind-body training, or our prayer and meditation.
What is aware right now?
What is rest?
What is love?
Is there stillness in movement?
What are you feeling right now?
How do you nurture your body?
How do you care for yourself in relationships today?
Asking these questions, or one that arises for you, in a quiet, gentle and inquisitive way on a regular basis will begin to provide insight into feeling more joyful and peaceful.
We only have so much time to read. Therefore, it is vitally important to find authors that clearly speak to us while we choose books to read.
Work with authors that resonate with you–that are truly waking you up. The authors that I list below have helped me at certain points, but you must work with what works for you now. Even if I have not read an author you are working with, I can relate to the way in which you are practicing due to the breadth of my experience.
Some authors (not in any order of importance) I found helpful: Adyashanti, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Ayya Khema, Father Thomas Keating, Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Byron Katie, Mahasi Sayadaw U Sobhana, Anne Wilson Schaef, Shunryu Suzuki, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and Thich Nhat Hanh.
It is important to notice how any activity is impacting you. For some people, listening works well to remember your intention for practice. Audio files are useful aids at certain times.
It is important to hear the quality in the voice you are listening to and feel supported. There are many wonderful guided meditations and wisdom talks. Here are a few places that I found helpful:
In more advanced practice, illuminated aspects of being are seen within the inter-play between consciousness, feeling, form, volition and perception. Being aware with compassion and examining any felt tension or clinging to ideas brings opportunities for insight.
There are many adjustments to living with a more open mind as one’s capacity for accepting the way things are starts to manifest in the body. Insights can be destabilizing for a period of time while adjusting to new insight opens up energetic centers in the body. Ongoing concentration practice with prayer and meditation are key for stabilization along with a variety of other activites. Divine guidance is a wonderful gift and allows you to become more authentically present in your life.
Allow me to support you in your process, contact me for a consultation.
Schedule a free consultation now.
Beautiful relaxing video with suggestions for tuning into the present moment with love and appreciation created by Constance Casey.