Every season has its unique gifts. As a season for reawakening and renewal, spring provides us a unique opportunity to see the world with fresh eyes and to feel the wonder of the earth as it comes back to life.
To help you come into a deeper rhythm with the natural world, Lin Gordon and Lee Steppacher will weave nature-based meditation practices throughout this silent weekend retreat. We will spend extended time outdoors and participate in guided meditation and mindful walks to open our sense of awareness, and sinking deeply into our connection to the world around us. Participants will learn to develop a receptive presence and contemplative relationship with nature, opening the possibility to experience beautiful states of joy, peace, wonder, love and connection with oneself, each other and the larger web of life.
Specific practices will be chosen based on weather, location and the group, but will include foundational mindfulness, movement and wisdom practices that are particularly aligned with being in nature.
The weekend will be held primarily in silence, allowing you to cultivate the capacity to be present. There will be opportunities for limited discussion and questions, and talks will be offered as guidance. Guided body movement will also be offered daily.
Activities will not be strenuous, but significant time will be spent outdoors. Appropriate outerwear will be needed.
This weekend is appropriate for people with all levels of experience. No prior meditation experience needed.
Location: Eastover, Lenox, Massachusetts
Date: Friday, May 1, 2020 (arrivals at 3pm) – Sunday, May 3, 2020 (ends at 12pm)
(You can stay extra nights at the retreat center after the retreat ends. You just need to book separately.)
Teachers: Lin Gordon and Lee Steppacher
Bus from NYC: The easiest way is to take the Peter Pan Trailways bus from Port Authority to the Lenox, MA stop.
Directions: You can find more detailed directions for driving, bus, rail, car services on the Eastover site.
Below is a sample packing list for our time outside:
- Bring layers
- Warm hat
- Warm gloves
- Neck gaiter or scarf
- Waterproof pants (ski or winter hiking pants)
- Winter jacket
- Winter/waterproof hiking boots (if possible)
- Thermal long underwear shirts and pants
- Wool socks
- Water bottle
- Vacuum-insulated bottle for hot drinks
- When outside cotton clothes are discouraged
Lee has a deep meditation practice over 25 years, and has a combination of skills and interests that draw her to offering mindfulness in nature retreats . She gravitated to the direct simplicity of the Vipassana (or Insight meditation practice) tradition, and was fortunate to live near Insight Meditation Society where she has been going to annual retreats. She has been a long-time practitioner of the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center community.
She recently completed a two-year “Awake in the Wild” Nature Meditation Teacher Training program with Mark Coleman from the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and continues to be inspired and guided by Mark’s work in bringing mindfulness into nature. Lee had a fulfilling career in environmental planning and protection with both Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Park Service, where she was responsible for resource-based watershed protection for various locations in New England. Since retirement, Awake in the Wild has enabled Lee to bring her meditation practice and environmental knowledge together in a meaningful way.
Lee lives in Vermont and enjoys guiding people through the woods and fields nearby, sharing these practices that help one to connect more deeply with themselves and the world of which we are all a part. Lee also maintains a massage practice where she focuses on working with the elderly, ill and dying.
Lin is a mindfulness and nature meditation teacher and has studied insight meditation under the guidance of Jonathan Foust and Mark Coleman. In stillness and silence, she discovers the transformative power of mindfulness practices to help live a life of flow, joy, grace and gratitude.
In the last few years, Lin was particularly moved by the power of nature meditation to connect with a deep sense of well-being, love, wonder, resilience, and interconnection with all beings. Our human-centric worldview dissolves, and we realize we are but a small part of a greater intelligence. Lin was inspired to share nature meditation as a doorway for personal transformation as well as a form of environmental activism.
She graduated from Mark Coleman’s Awake in the Wild Nature Meditation Teacher Training in 2017 and has since taught at New York Insight Meditation Center and around the country. She currently participates in Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leaders Program (CDL6), which will deepen her skills in sharing the Buddhist teachings with diverse communities.
Besides meditation, Lin is a kundalini yoga teacher and a reiki practitioner. She’s deeply influenced by group dreamwork and studied with Jeremy Taylor. Out in the world, she has been a digital marketer for tech and media industries, and currently serves on the Board of the New York Insight Meditation Center.
She holds a BA from Barnard College, and an MBA from NYU.