Author: being in the wild

Practice: Working with Difficult Emotions

“All transformation comes after you come into contact with your body.” Jonathan Foust Emotions stay in our body if we don’t process and release them.  Yet if we can develop the capacity to be with them intimately, we can release them once we allow them the space to be fully experienced for a minute or two.  When we work with difficult emotions, we want to listen to and respect our body’s intuitive intelligence, and let it be the guide to navigate the emotional territory.   Thich Haht Hahn said that we need to hold our emotions like a newborn baby – with the same kind of gentleness, tenderness, and care. Usually we feel pain in particular areas of our body, not all of the body.  In this meditation, we will establish areas of body that are the pain zones, and areas of body that feel a sense of ease, which we call the non-pain zones.  And we will shift our attention between the pain zones and non-pain zones depending on our emotional capacity and where we are …

July 19 – 26, 2019: Inner and Outer Nature Weeklong Retreat in Colorado

Date: Friday, July 19 – Friday, July 26, 2019 Location: Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, Jamestown, Colorado Buddhist teachers David Loy and Johann Robbins will be leading this retreat and I will be assisting them. The Inner and Outer Nature retreats includes deep nature practice, immersing in the natural world, connecting our inner nature with outer nature, and dissolving separation. Each day includes plentiful time for sitting, hiking/walking meditation, as well as instruction in nature meditation, Dharma talks, and individual and group practice discussions. There is also a two day optional solo. Combining both retreats into a two week retreat is encouraged. Low cost retreat from $550, scholarships available. Register for week one, or register for full 2 week retreat Complete information http://www.impermanentsangha.org

Sat. July 13, 2019 – Summer Hike to Hook Mountain, Rockland Lake State Park (on the Long Path)

“Walking mindfully on the Earth can restore our peace and harmony, and it can restore Earth’s peace and harmony as well.  We are children of the Earth.  We rely on her for our happiness, and she relies on us also.  Whether the Earth is beautiful, fresh and green, or arid and parched depends on our way of walking.  When we practice walking meditation beautifully, we massage the Earth with our feet and plant seeds of joy and happiness with each step.  Our Mother will heal us, and we will heal her.” — Thich Nhat Hanh Register Enjoy a summer day in the peaceful beauty of the Hudson Valley.  This guided, meditative hike takes the scenic route along the Long Path—into the Rockland Lake State Park and up Hook Mountain (698 ft). Enjoy expansive vistas only 1.5 hours outside of the city, and an extraordinary space designated by the New York Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area. Take a walk into the woods to connect with nature and ourselves.  We’ll integrate sitting and walking nature …

June 21 – 23, 2019: Meditation Fusion – Five Teachers, Five Styles

Date: Friday – Sunday, June 21 – 23, 2019 Location: Kripalu Center of Yoga and Health, Stockbridge, MA Come join me in experimenting different meditation styles at Kripalu on summer solstice weekend.  The key to discover a regular meditation practice is to find a style that resonates with you.  Program will include: Instinctive meditation with Steven Leonard Insight meditation with Lin Gordon Crystal bowl sound meditation with Carlos A. Perez Kundalini meditation with Amanbir Singh The neuroscience of meditation with Jacqueline Lutz. Learn more about the program and registration.

Sat. June 15, 2019: Birding and Nature Meditation at Central Park

Register Bird in the Pepper Tree Don’t mind my inexplicable delight in knowing your name, little Wilson’s Warbler yellow as a lemon, with a smooth, black cap.. Just do what you do and don’t worry, dipping branch by branch down  to the fountain…. A name is not a leash. – By Mary Oliver Do you know there are approximately 230 different species of birds can be found in Central Park? Some are year round and some would stop by during the spring and fall migration season.  Join Lin Gordon (nature meditation teacher) and Stephen Roylance (retired science teacher) in taking an early morning walk through Central Park, where we will listen to the sounds within and without. Who: Lin Gordon and Stephen Roylance When: 8:15am-10:30am, Saturday, June 13, 2019 Where: Meet at 72nd St and Central Park West entrance  Public Transportation: 72nd St station, 1, 2, 3, B or C by Subway Registration Fee: Sliding scale from $15, $20, to $25.  Registration is now opened. No prior meditation or birding experience needed. Bring Binocular Water Organic bug/tick …

May 10 – 12, 2019: Spring Weekend Retreat

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 …

Sat. November 24, 2018: Thanksgiving Meditative Hike to Hook Mountain, Rockland Lake State Park (on the Long Path)

  “Walking mindfully on the Earth can restore our peace and harmony, and it can restore Earth’s peace and harmony as well.  We are children of the Earth.  We rely on her for our happiness, and she relies on us also.  Whether the Earth is beautiful, fresh and green, or arid and parched depends on our way of walking.  When we practice walking meditation beautifully, we massage the Earth with our feet and plant seeds of joy and happiness with each step.  Our Mother will heal us, and we will heal her.” — Thich Nhat Hanh   Register Immerse in the peaceful beauty of autumn in the Hudson Valley before winter arrives. This guided, meditative hike takes the scenic route along the Long Path—into the Rockland Lake State Park and up Hook Mountain (698 ft). Enjoy expansive vistas only 1.5 hours outside of the city, and an extraordinary space designated by the New York Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area. As we head into deep fall, take a walk into the woods to connect …

Practice: Standing in front of a Tree

In a technology-oriented world we live today, we rarely get the opportunity to have an intimate and deep connection with the natural world and learn from it.  This practice of standing in front of and interacting with a single tree, will help us cultivate the sensitivities and attunement to a living being.  And we can find a tree even in an urban environment. 1) Be Called to a Tree Instead of picking a tree in our mind before the practice, notice where you are standing in your environment, tune into the body first, and sense if there is a tree at and its energy at this moment that you find interesting to connect with.  Follow your curiosity and felt sense. 2) Take in the Whole Tree from Afar As you approach the tree from afar, take in the whole tree from a distance first.  Take in the height, the shape, and how this tree fits into the its environment as whole. 3) Sense the Tree Upclose Feel into the environment of the tree as it has a …

August 24 – 26, 2018: Summer Nature Meditation Weekend Retreat (Norwich, VT)

The Summer Day Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? — Mary Oliver Register As Mary Oliver …

Guided Meditation: Making It Happen vs. Letting It Happen

My teacher Jonathan Foust gave a talk on “Making It Happen vs. Letting It Happen” back in April.  I always love that Jonathan is so artful in condensing spiritual teachings into simple and accessible phrases.  We can explore this theme in two layers and both speak to me to the heart of spiritual practices.  First is the balance between making efforts to achieve goals and making time and space in our life to reflect on those efforts, to see if they are aligned with our hearts and whether they lead us on the path we want to go down to.  Our culture values goals and results and idealize efforts and productivity, and there are certainly great value in work ethics.  Yet, if we don’t slow down in our life to make time and space to reflect, we can be running in full speed down on a path that we don’t want to go down to. Secondly, “letting it happen” speaks to a quality that we all recognize in our life, that is that life is …